How Snow and Ice Can Impact Your Roofing

As winter approaches, it’s important for facility owners to prepare for snow and ice. Typically, this involves removing snow from parking lots and outdoor areas, as well as removing ice from any place that causes hazards to tenants. However, there is another area where snow and ice can cause problems for your facility — your roofing. 

Most facility managers don’t think much about roofing maintenance throughout the year. Your roof does its job with the occasional leak or missing shingle which can easily be repaired within a day. However, if you don’t monitor the health of your roof, you could face serious repair issues come wintertime. Below are just a few ways in which snow and ice can cause adverse effects on your commercial roof: 

Stress on the roofing material

The heavy buildup of snow on your roof can cause stress on the internal structure as well as the external materials. The longer you go between cleanings, the more weight will start to warp your roofing. This can cause serious long term damage including cracks, leaks, and even cave-ins if you’re not careful.  

Ice dams

Ice dams are created when gutters fill up with ice and debris, and leave melting snow nowhere else to go. As the melted snow freezes again, it builds up at the edge of your roof and creates a dam. Not only does this put extra weight on your gutters, but it can creep up into your shingles and cause damage. In order to prevent this, you must clean out your gutters regularly and be sure not to allow snow or ice to build up around the edges of your roofing. Once an ice dam is on your roof, however, you’ll need to call a professional for help.

Freeze and thaw cycles

Freeze and thaw cycles cause many issues for your commercial facility, but can be especially expensive when they affect your roofing. As the ice thaws, the water will seep into small cracks and crevices of the roof. Then, the area will expand as it starts to freeze again. This can cause cracks in your roofing to become bigger and bigger with each freeze/thaw cycle and account for major repairs when spring comes around. To prevent this, you should schedule a roofing inspection before the first snowfall to look for cracks and other external roof damage. 

In order to prevent these issues, the first step is to schedule preventative maintenance on your roofing during the late summer and fall. The sooner you clean falling leaves from your roof and repair shingle damage, the better shape your roof will be in when snow starts to fall. Like most facility maintenance tasks, prevention is key to long-term sustainability. 

To learn more about winter roofing care and preventative maintenance, contact your local MaintenX team today!

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