Architectural detail of metal roofing on commercial construction

Commercial Roofing: Is your Business Roof Ready for Winter?

Commercial roofing systems are often quite different from residential roofing systems as they are typically used to cover a vast area.  Since these roofing systems are expansive, they can present their own set of unique problems.  

As we head into winter in Lake Ozark, Missouri, we have to prepare for the fact that there will be some snow and ice. And, we have been known to have some surprisingly severe snowstorms in the area.  Hopefully, you’ve already had a good, thorough fall roof inspection. But if not, you still have enough time to make sure that any clogged drains, roof scuppers, gutters, and other problems are cleared and ready for the cold season.

Overlooking these types of maintenance issues, neglecting to find and fix problems, or failing to winterize your roof before the ice and snow hits is just inviting trouble. This is even more true if the roof of your business is approaching the end of its serviceable life.

Freeze and Thaw Cycles

A commercial roof that is maintained well will be as not as subject to developing leaks and structural damage from ice and snow loads. Plus, daily freeze-and-thaw cycles can create ice dams and can wreak havoc on a roof that’s not in good shape.

Snow and ice eventually meltdown into water and water loves to find its way in, if possible. To make matters worse, snow adds a significant amount of weight to the roof, so be sure that your system is up to par by getting a commercial roofing inspection in advance. It’s far better to have peace of mind from knowing that your roof is in great condition.

Professional Commercial Roof Inspection

Winter is hard on any roof.  When the water melts, runs off, and then freezes again this process can pry up the shingles (and other elements) of the roof.  If this happens, it is usually because the original roof either wasn’t installed correctly or has deteriorated significantly. Premature roof failure is a greater risk when regular inspections haven’t been done to find and repair existing deficiencies.

As roofs age, they all tend to break down and will eventually need repair or replacement.  Also, if there have been storms since your last inspection, there may already be undetected damage if you haven’t had a professional inspection conducted by a reputable roofing company.  

During a commercial roofing inspection, the inspector can determine the condition and age of the roof, and whether the roof is fully intact. They will also check to make certain that the support structure and ventilation system of the roof are in safe working condition as well.  Another aspect of the inspection process is to determine that all elements of the roof were properly installed in the first place.

Roof Coating

Roof Lux is a Commercial Roofing Contractor at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

If your commercial roof has a single-ply membrane that is aging and growing brittle it will be more susceptible to leaks. If it’s already been patched a few times, it may be a good idea to apply a roof coating now. Not only will it extend the life of your roof but it will also be better protected against the harshness of winter. Likewise, a good roof coating can be helpful to add some life back into an aging metal roof.

Applying a roof coating correctly isn’t an undertaking to leave to a maintenance crew. The misapplication of a roof coating product can actually cause more problems than it resolves. It’s best to hire an experienced commercial roofing company that is equipped and knowledgeable in applying high-quality polymeric or elastomeric coatings.

Commercial roof coating products can still be applied at lower temperatures due to new improved technologies. Just be advised that the product will require a little more time to cure adequately in cool weather.

Commercial Roof Maintenance

When it comes to the health of your roof, keep in mind that it is protecting 90% of your business building.  The roof is your first line of defense against weather and water penetration. If you have a leak or other failure, you may have to shut down the business to have it taken care of.  Without it, you have no income, nor will your employees.

What You Can Look For Yourself

You want to be sure that your roofing system is prepared for the weight that snow and ice will bring.  Though a good commercial roofing company will inspect the supporting structure to ensure that all is well, you can always have a preliminary look yourself. 

You can begin by first checking to see if you spot anything that doesn’t appear quite right.  Look for bowing or sagging anywhere on your roof and along the roof’s ridge. Then, if you’re comfortable getting up on the roof, check for soft spots in the sheathing.

Check the Interior

Do a thorough check of the building interior and attic (if applicable). Any sign of water making its way in is an obvious and sure indication that you have a problem.  If you detect any water stains on the interior ceiling or walls, you need to call a professional roofer right away.  This could be something as minor as a small leak in the roof that needs a simple repair. However, it can also indicate something larger that will need more in-depth attention.  

Other Common Problems

Other common problems can include defects in the flashing or sealant failure wherever there are penetrations. These are some of the routine culprits causing leaks. Other problem areas can be any splits in the roofing membrane, seams separating and puckering or blisters, and general deterioration of the surface. These should all be addressed prior to winter weather.

Some professional attention now could prevent a major problem and added expense later on.

Snow Removal

Snow Removal from Roofs and Docks

Snow piling up on a roof is a danger and in some circumstances, a roof can even collapse. It’s best to make a snow removal plan now to protect your property. Dry, powdery snow can mean an additional 20 lbs. per cubic foot. But, we get a lot of wet snow here in the Ozarks. Wet snow or one that is in the freeze/thaw cycle can add up to 60 lbs per cubic foot. This adds up very quickly, so it’s best to have heavy snow removed quickly. Due to the dangerous nature of the work, snow removal is best left to professionals.

At Roof Lux, we’re working hard right now to make sure our customers’ roofs are ready for another Missouri winter. If you haven’t had an inspection yet, why not give us a call today so you can be ready and prepared?

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