Winter weather is on its way. Is your flat commercial roof ready for heavy snowfall, freezing rain, and extremely low temperatures? Learn how these winter roofing issues wreak havoc on your structure and how to take preventative measures.
Common Winter Commercial Roofing Issues
The year’s coming to an end, and commercial businesses are bracing themselves for winter. Cold weather is harsh on your property and, in particular, your roofing system. Your roof is the protective barrier over your building, and it takes the brunt of relentless winter weather. If you have a flat roofing system, it needs extra care and attention, especially in the wintertime. Flat roofing membranes are great for commercial properties because they provide protection and durability. However, you must be mindful of the climate conditions ahead and how they’re harmful to your roofing system:
As heavy layers of snow accumulate on top of your commercial facility, the weight can become too much for your building to bear. This is dangerous if your roof is older or if you’re unaware of the damage it’s already sustained. A commercial roof that already needs repair topped with snow load is a recipe for disaster.
Your flat commercial roof has a maximum weight limit. When snow load exceeds that limit, it could lead to an accident, like a roof cave-in, in extreme cases. Before the concerns get out of hand, have professionals safely remove the snow from your flat roof.
Cold weather and moisture can cause ice dams on any roof, but the difference between traditional roofs and flat commercial roofs is that water slides off regular roofs more quickly because of their slope. On flat roofs, water tends to pool since there’s no incline. As the snow melts on the surface or after heavy rainfall, it freezes, forming an ice dam on the surface.
Eventually, sunlight melts the snow and ice on your flat commercial roof. That becomes a problem if the melt doesn’t run off the roof and into the drain pipes or gutters like it should. When pooling water has nowhere to go, it seeps into the roof’s membrane, causing severe water damage that can mean leaks and mold growth.
Clogged Drains and Gutters
Drains and gutters are responsible for channeling water off your roof and away from your building. That’s why it’s crucial to clear drains and gutters often in the wintertime. They won’t work correctly if they become clogged with leaves, twigs, dirt, and debris. Instead of water freely flowing, it stays on your roof’s surface.
It’s wise to keep your gutters cleaned to avoid improper drainage that can lead to costly inconveniences later down the road.
One of the most common roofing issues property owners face is condensation, which is when warm air comes in contact with a cold surface. Condensation often goes unrecognized, and inadequate roofing ventilation is to blame. Excess water under the surface and around the seams of your flat roof causes moisture accumulation. If you notice an unpleasant odor, it could be the result of condensation. Excessive moisture leads to mold and mildew, as well, which taints your indoor air quality (IAQ).
Low-hanging trees and branches surrounding your property can eventually fall onto your flat roof’s surface. The weight of the snow, plus the heavy winds and bitter cold air, causes dead or weakening branches to snap and crash onto your building. Flat roofing membranes can split due to the impact. Additionally, you’ll have to pay professionals to safely remove the tree or large branch from your property.
How To Maintain Your Flat Roof in the Winter
You can keep many of these roofing worries at bay if you prioritize routine inspections. Roofing contractors can spot problems that have gone unnoticed and eliminate them before they become more significant. Some things may not be immediately evident, like cracks in the materials or debris in drains. Once professionals analyze your roof’s condition, they can confirm what needs to be done before winter strikes.
You expect your commercial roof to shelter you and your associates no matter what the seasons bring. Make sure you do your due diligence by implementing repairs and maintenance as needed. Any roofing troubles you face should be addressed immediately by legitimate roofing contractors. Before winter weather arrives, call professionals to perform tasks like:
- Removing animal nests
- Closing gaps in the roofing system
- Unclogging drains and gutters
- Removing snow from the surface
Kirberg Keeps Your Commercial Roof in Mint Condition
With more than 100 years of experience, Kirberg is your certified roofing company. You can count on our team for outstanding results and a reliable, sturdy roofing structure. Kirberg performs repairs, ongoing maintenance, new construction, and much more. We take pride in our ability to exceed our valued customers’ expectations every time.
We understand the importance of having a dependable commercial roofing structure for years to come. Let our courteous and attentive team transform your roof’s structure or install a new flat roofing system before winter. From snow removal to repairs big and small, Kirberg does it all. Call and speak with our specialists today to discuss your roofing requirements.