Is your building roof prepared for winter? By now, hopefully, every section has had a thorough roof inspection. If not, there’s still some time to ensure clogged drains, scuppers and other issues are cleared and in good shape for the winter season.
Neglecting those issues, failing to correct defects and forgetting to winterize your roof before the snow starts piling up is a recipe for disaster, especially if your building’s flat roof is nearing the end of its serviceable life. Well maintained flat roofs are not as prone to leaks and structural damage from snow loads, not to mention daily freeze/thaw cycles.
Risks increase with cold temperature
One of the biggest risks for premature roof failure comes from neglecting to find and repair existing deficiencies. While defects in flashing and sealant failure at penetrations are leading causes of leaks, splits in the membrane, separations at seams, ridges, blisters and deterioration are also red flags that must be addressed before winter. A little professional attention now will save a lot of money and headache down the road.
Roof coating protection
Single-ply membranes that are nearing the end of their useful life can be brittle, more prone to leaks and less sound all the way around. Heading into winter with an old, multi-patched membrane is a gamble. Applying a roof coating now could extend your roof’s life and help protect it from winter’s wrath. Coating can also be helpful for aging metal roofs.
Not all roofs qualify for coating, but if yours does, it can be a cost-effective method of protection. A roofing professional will inspect the roof, replace any wet insulation that might be present, and repair damaged flashing and other problems before applying a coating.
Coating the roof isn’t a project for a maintenance crew. Using an incompatible coating, or misapplying a product, can create more problems than it solves. A reputable roofing company with experience in applying high-quality coatings is essential for success. Curing time is a bit longer in cool weather but new technology permits the application of some types of coatings at low temperatures.
What’s your snow plan?
Excessive snow on the roof is a hazard, and in extreme cases, it can lead to roof collapse. Protect your roof with a proactive commercial roof snow removal plan. A fresh, lofty snow can add 20 lbs. of weight per cubic foot, but wet snow, or partially thawed and refrozen snow, can add as much 60 lbs. per cubic foot of weight. In Ontario your roof was probably designed to bear some additional snow load, but the best practice is to have heavy snows promptly removed. To prevent damage to the roof and reduce the risk of injury to worker, snow removal is best left to the pros.