Commercial Roof Questions to Consider in the Winter
Throughout the year, your commercial roof keeps your building watertight. And winter may provide the most formidable challenge of all. Inspecting your roof during fall and spring is crucial to ensure its preparedness for the upcoming winter and to verify its survival during the previous winter. However, it’s also a good idea to make a trip to the top during the winter to ensure things are tight. Therefore, here are some questions to ask.
- Does the drainage system allow unrestricted water flow? There are likely multiple drainage points on your roof, whether around the perimeter or on the roof surface. These should be cleared of debris so that melted snow has a place to go. Backed up – “ponded” – water that repeatedly freezes and thaws can lead to problems.
- A related question: are icicles hanging from your gutters? It is usually a sign that water isn’t flowing correctly. Icicles add weight to gutters and downspouts and can cause them to break – an obvious safety hazard. Remove icicles to help foster water flow and avoid costly repairs and potential litigation.
- Has thermal expansion and contraction compromised your roof’s watertight integrity? Fluctuating temperatures can cause stress on many components of your roof system. Membrane seams can separate, edge details can detach from the perimeter, and flashings (metal and membrane details that transition between changes in rooftop angles) can loosen and develop gaps. These issues and others can enable leaks, potentially damaging your building’s interior and reducing insulation effectiveness, leading to higher heating bills.
- Is your roof in need of immediate replacement? However, you can only wait until spring, depending on its age and condition. Moreover, it is essential to note that you can install many commercial roofing systems during the winter. If you choose this route, select a roofing contractor experienced in cold-weather roofing. Additionally, ask for references to ensure their reliability.