Get Your Roof Ready for the 2018 Winter
Winters in the northeast can be tough. Frostbite that freezes the skin and causes a burning sensation, bitterly cold winds that strip moisture from your skin and contagious colds and sore throats are just a few of the things you can expect in the winter. If this is what happens to your body, just imagine what all that cold, snow and ice is doing to your commercial roof. Now is the time to hire a commercial roofing contractor and prepare for what’s ahead.
When you think about how winter affects your business, your thoughts naturally turn to ensure that your indoor temperature is comfortable, getting snow and ice cleared from your parking lots and sidewalks and maybe stocking the breakroom with more hot cocoa. However, none of this matters if your roof fails. It’s imperative to take the proper steps now to make sure your roof is ready for the rough winter months.
How to make your commercial roof winter proof
Of course, your roof should be well maintained in any season. Still, winter poses a unique set of problems. These tips will help get you prepared.
Locate and fix any defects and weaknesses.
It will be difficult to fix problems situated under piles of snow. Start with a visual inspection. In other words, how does your roof look? Sagging, damage from tree branches or debris and the areas around any rooftop HVAC system should be closely examined. Problems with flashing or sealant can create leaks. You should also look for separations in the membrane, ridges splits in the seams, blisters and other signs of decline.
Gutters can collect leaves and dirt, which will clog your system and affect drainage. When your drains and gutters are obstructed there is nowhere for the water to go so it sits on your roof, waiting to cause problems. Snow and water must be able to easily drain from your roof to prevent ice and snow from being trapped on your roof and adding weight. Don’t put this off. Have a commercial roofing contractor inspect your roof now. It will save stress and money in the future.
Give your roof some love and protection.
Snow and ice are coming and there is no way to avoid it. While you can’t erect a dome over your roof, you can apply a roof coating to help extend its life. This will give your roof at least a little protection from winter’s fury. A roof coating is a cost-effective way to increase the viability of your roof. A professional roofing company will ensure this is done correctly. Trusting this task to an amateur could lead to misapplication or using a coating not made for your type of roof, which will only serve to create more problems than it is supposed to solve. There are also roof accessories you may want to consider, such as heat tape to help manage ice buildup and steam heat on gutters to prevent collapse. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Have a plan.
The wait-and-see approach is a gamble not worth taking. Soft, powdery snow can add up to 20 pounds per cubic foot of extra weight to your roof. But the heavy wet stuff can add as much as 60 additional pounds! Snow accumulation of any kind should be removed as soon as possible.
Although December 21 is the official first day of winter, in New Jersey bad weather can strike at any time. It’s essential to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us. In addition to snow, hail and high winds can also cause significant damage to your commercial roof, sometimes even more than snow and ice. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, New Jersey is in for cold temperatures, above average precipitation and several coastal storms this winter. Planning for cold weather emergencies is crucial for peace of mind and cost savings.
Review your roof safety protocols.
If you don’t already have procedures in place to address rooftop safety, you should create them now. Even if your commercial roof is relatively new, no roof is completely safe from the damaging effects of winter. The freeze-thaw-freeze cycle that can come as a result of temperature fluctuations can be a major culprit in the never-ending task of taking care of your roof. This causes your roof to expand and contract, which weakens the structural integrity over time.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has numerous roofing safety guidelines so make sure your company follows them. For example, all working or walking surfaces on your roof must be strong enough to safely support any workers who need to be up there.
You already have to deal with decreased productivity, delivery challenges from hazardous road conditions and increased utility costs during the winter months. The last thing you need is a major leak, an accident or roof failure to add to your woes.
Schedule a professional inspection with a commercial roofing contractor.
While there are some trouble spots on your roof that you can see for yourself, such as cracks and weathered areas, but there may be plenty more that are not always obvious to the untrained eye. A contractor can evaluate whether excessive moisture has affected areas like the decking or insulation. Which can severely shorten the lifespan of your roof?
Issues such as flashing, metal components, and drainage as well as HVAC systems should be properly and thoroughly examined. Getting an inspection from a qualified commercial roofing contractor should be at the top of your list this fall. They will help develop the right solutions to protect your roof from nasty weather and prevent leaks in the spring. Finding a roofing company with expertise in weather-related issues and state of the art equipment can go a long way towards preserving your roof and keeping it safe for years to come.
The best time to hire a commercial roofing contractor is before unpleasant weather hits. Contact Peck Brothers Roofing and assemble your roofing team today. So that when the winter snows come (and make no mistake, they are coming) your roof will be ready.