roof and pavement consultants

Are Your Commercial Roofs Prepared for Winter?


But evaluating the condition of a roof now can save you from potential issues once winter weather arrives. Evaluating the condition of a roof now can save you from
potential issues once winter weather arrives.

It’s hard to believe we’re just over halfway through the year, and it’s already time to start thinking about cold and snowy winter roof performance.

Preparing commercial roofs for winter is a task that is often overlooked by many building owners because they believe if the roof is not leaking, there are no problems. Starting the process today provides you the time to properly evaluate the condition of the roof, submit required paperwork, obtain approval and get a roofing contractor on-site to make repairs before snow, high winds and other associated winter weather problems occur.

If you don’t have the opportunity to get a professional and objective roofing professional on your roof to evaluate the condition, be sure you or someone on your staff takes the time to address the following:

Active Leaks.  A qualified contractor should be notified to make repairs as soon as leaks occur. If the system is under warranty, the manufacturer should also be notified of any leaks.

Field Membrane. Walk the roofs to see if anything looks out of place, such as blistering, ridges in the membrane, eroded areas, tented fasteners, open seams, punctures, misplaced ballast, or misaligned loose pavers. If these deficiencies are occurring, they should be corrected as soon as possible by a qualified contractor.

Perimeter Flashings. Check for securement and any openings that would allow water to enter.

Penetration Flashings. Check to ensure they are sealed and secured.

Roof Related Sheet Metal. Check for securement, sealed joint laps, and missing components as these items could cause problems during winter months.

Drainage. One of the most common problems during winter months. The following items should be checked:

  • Drains are open and allowing water to exit.
  • Clean all debris in and around drains that could clog strainers and restrict water flow.
  • Gutters and downspouts to make sure they are secured and that all debris is removed.
  • If heat tapes are in place in the gutters, downspouts or drains, make sure they are in working order.

Miscellaneous/Adjacent Conditions. The following items are also often overlooked prior to winter setting in, and should be checked for any deficiencies:

  • Ductwork
  • Door seals
  • Open joints in walls
  • Skylights
  • Penetrations through walls

By making sure all these items are evaluated and corrected prior to winter, building owners can save themselves potential headaches and money. Furthermore, it is usually more expensive to hire a contractor during winter months and more difficult for them to find and repair problem areas.

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