Despite how whimsical and magical snowfall can be on a cold winter morning, it can spell trouble for your commercial flat roof. During the winter months, it’s important for business owners to safely remove excess snow accumulation to prevent further damage or destruction of their flat roof.
Why Is Regular Snow Removal Important?
While it’s true, some moisture will evaporate from your roof, regular snow removal is essential to preserving the integrity and life of your commercial flat roof. Too much snow accumulation can lead to ponding water and bowing. When unnecessary weight is placed on the roof, it can lead to leaks, damage to the structure, and in worst-case scenarios, the total collapse of the roof.
In addition to damages caused by snow accumulation, commercial flat roofs can also experience free-thaw. When free-thaw occurs, snow melts on the roof and seeps into cracks and crevices. Over time, the water re-freezes and expands, severely damaging the roof structure.
- Assess the Surrounding Area. Before you start the removal process, you will first want to assess the surrounding area. Remove any objects from around the building that could be damaged from falling snow and ice. If working in an area with heavy foot traffic, put out caution signs and cones to mark off areas where people shouldn’t walk. This will prevent unnecessary injuries.
- Remove Excess Snow If Possible. After you safety-proof your area, you’ll want to grab a shovel and remove as much excess snow as possible. Find a reliable position on the roof that allows you to maneuver snow in an easy fashion. Use your shovel to evenly clear excess snow, without digging into the roof. This will help protect the outer layer of the roof from damage.
- Use a Snow Rake to Remove Any Additional Snow. After you’ve removed excess snow accumulation from the roof, you will want to use a broom or a snow rake to remove any additional snow from the roof’s surface. Sweep the roof evenly to avoid one side of the roof holding more weight than the other. Again, avoid digging into the roof; this will prevent unnecessary damage.
- Apply De-Icing Spray. If your roof has snow and ice accumulation, you might want to consider applying a de-icing spray to prevent future snow build-up on your roof. Always consult with a roofing professional before spraying a new product on your roof’s membrane.
- Remove Debris From Gutters and Drain Spouts. In addition to clearing snow accumulation off of the surface of your commercial flat roof, it is also important to remove snow, ice build-up, and debris from gutters and drain spouts. As the snow melts, it will need to have a clear path to drain off of the roof to prevent ponding and leaks.
Signs Your Flat Roof Needs Immediate Attention
If you notice any of these signs, notify your roofing company ASAP:
- Extreme icicle formation on the roof
- Broken ceiling tiles
- Buckling walls or beams
The integrity of your roof is important, especially during harsh winter months. Our roofing professionals at Energy Shield have the combined knowledge and tools to help winter-proof your roof. Contact us today!