Problems With Snow and Ice
You know the old saying, “One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s certainly the case where a building’s roof is concerned, especially when it comes to being prepared for the harsh winter conditions. When colder temperatures arrive, membrane roof systems become harder and less flexible, and as a result, are more susceptible to damage by puncture and sharp objects.
Winter Roofing Tips
Here are some things to keep in mind as you make sure your facility’s roof is prepared for winter:
- When your rooftop is covered with snow and ice, finding annoying roof leaks is close to impossible. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to check ceilings and interior walls for signs of leaks, such as stains, and seal all roof leaks possible before the weather gets bad. Late summer and early fall is the ideal time to check exterior walls for leaks, stains, cracks in bricks and any missing mortar. Sealing these will keep the cold air out and your valuable heat in.
- Cold weather has a tremendous effect on loose mortar and composite building materials. Cold temperatures can cause already loose materials to contract, leaving gaps for damaging water and winds to enter your building. This is why checking any roof deck and fascia/coping for signs of deterioration before the first snow or ice storm hits is crucial. Look for any deteriorated caulking around loose metal work, thin sections of membrane, signs of excessive movement and splits at expansion joints. You will also want to check all penetrations on your roof such as pipe boots, pitch pockets, and vent pipes, in addition to regrets areas for flashings, deteriorated caulking, and voids in the caulking, chimney flashings, and brick and mortar joints. To prevent contamination, any point of air or water infiltration should be checked and immediately restored to a properly sealed condition.
- Another cause of roof failure during winter months is drainage problems. This is why checking and clearing all gutters, downspouts, and scuppers is imperative. All drains should be cleaned out so drainage water can move freely. Strainers and clamping rings should also be checked. Water weight in a dysfunctional gutter system can loosen the attachment of the guttering to the structure, causing further damage to your building.
- A roof can leak if snow accumulates on the roof and over flashings. This is why you’ll want to check all attachments of base flashing and counter flashing. An experienced roofing contractor should be called in to survey the field of the roof membrane and redistribute all ballast across any bare spots. If there are any tears or holes in the membrane, these should be repaired immediately.
- Every winter is different with more snowfall some years than others. This is why it’s a good idea to have several thick brush brooms ready in the event you need to remove ice or snow from around roof top units. Wind-driven snow can pile up against curbs and walls and if the snow is higher than the flashing it can create a real problem when it starts to melt. If there is a major snow event, then it is best to contact a roofing professional to remove snow and ice in these critical areas.
Roofing Company Weston super Mare Somerset
- Finally, call a professional for help. It’s dangerous to scale heights and attempt to access a roof when you know there’s an issue with leaking water or damp. Thermal Roof employ the best in the industry when it comes to professional roof repairs. Be safe and rest assured you are in good hands – Send a message via the Contact Form or call 01934 824005