9 Ways to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for Winter

December 8, 2015

The first official day of winter is just a few weeks away. Regardless of whether you’re already feeling the chill or not, it’s important to ready your roof for winter’s wrath. Even southern climates are predicted to experience high rainfall totals as El Niño takes effect. Preparation starts with education. Here are nine tips.

1. Find and fix leaks now.

Don’t just check the ceiling tiles for stains and evidence of leaks, scour the roof for tears and punctures.

2. Check sealants and seams.

Cold temperatures can cause sealants to shrink and crack. Seams can become much bigger when water enters and expands as it freezes. Leaks are likely.

3. Keep drains clear.

Make sure drainage paths are free of leaves and debris. If drainage ways freeze, ice damming and ponding water are possible.

4. Give your gutters some attention.

Make sure all gutters, downspouts, and scuppers are clear and cleaned. This ensures that with heavy rains and melting snow, water drains off the roof properly.

5. Mark rooftop hazards.

Set up cones or neon orange snow flags to alert rooftop workers of low curbs or skylights that when buried by snow could be a safety hazard.

6. Batten down the hatches.

Remove obsolete equipment and debris from the roof. During high winds this can be forced from its location and pushed across the roof surface causing damage.

7. Have your roofing contractor’s number handy.

The time to develop a relationship with a roofing contractor is not when you have an emergency. Make sure you know who you’ll call, should an urgent need arise.

8. If rooftop snow removal is necessary, call in the pros.

When large loads (or drifts) of snow and ice are concerning, call your roofing contractor who understands how to work safely on the roof and can remove snow without causing damage.

9. Warn against danger.

Communicate to employees the danger of walking on membrane roofs during winter. They may be slippery with ice and can increase the risk of injury.

There’s no time to wait. As temperatures dip, even without snow cover, your roofing contractor is limited in the materials they can use when servicing your roof. The remaining repair options could be more costly.

Call D. C. Taylor Co. at 319.363.2073 today for our General Preventive Maintenance service!

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