Tips To Prepare Your Flat Commercial Roof For A Major Snow Event

If your business's roof is like that of many commercial buildings, it is likely flat. There's also a good chance that it is home to various HVAC units, ventilation systems, and other rooftop structures. This can be a concern if a major snow event occurs. Flat roofs don't shed snow as readily as a pitched roof, which can lead to collapse concerns as the weight of the snow builds up. Further, there is the chance of damage to your rooftop appliances. The following can help you manage heavy snow on your commercial roof.

Tip #1: Keep the drains clear

Before the snowstorm arrives, visit your roof and locate the drains. Flat roofs generally have drains around the perimeter of the roof, while larger roofs may also have some integrated drains near the center. Generally, if the roof surface seems to slope down, chances are there is a drain at the bottom of the slope. It's vital that you ensure that the drains are flowing freely. Old bird's nests and other debris can quickly plug them up, making it so melting snow can't drain. Ice dams blocking the drains can also be a concern, so these will need to be cleared before the snow event as well.

Tip #2: Inspect and repair the membrane

Flat roofs often have a membrane that covers them and prevents moisture seepage. In some cases, this membrane may be covered with asphalt and gravel. Have the roof inspected before the storm arrives to make sure there are no tears or punctures anywhere in the membrane and that the asphalt covering, if applicable, is still in good repair. If the storm is imminent or if temperatures are not conducive to permanent patching of problem areas, temporary patches can be installed. This ensures you won't have any major leaks once the snow begins to melt.

Tip #3: Plan for snow removal

Many commercial roofers provide snow removal services. It's best to contract with a pro to ensure that removing the snow doesn't cause any damage to the roof. If you are depending upon your building maintenance crew to manage roof snow removal, you should still call a roofer before the snow falls. They can install temporary or permanent guides on the roof to help the crew remove snow without damaging rooftop structures or blocking important drainage areas.

For more help, contact a commercial roofing service in your area.