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5 Steps to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

Never assume that your roof is in good enough shape to make it through the winter. If you’re wrong, you could end up with significant repair costs.


Your roof is responsible for protecting everything inside your building, so having it in working order is of the utmost importance. As we get closer to winter, the state of your roof becomes even more vital because snow and ice can be hard on a building, particularly the freeze-thaw cycle.


If you haven’t prepared your building for winter, it’s essential that you take steps now because even a small section of a compromised roof can lead to problems. Once your roof leaks, considerable damage to the interior of your building could follow.


Here are five steps to keep your roof healthy and your building safe this winter.


Conduct a pre-winter safety inspection


The first step is making sure that your roof is in good enough shape to last the winter.


As wintertime approaches, schedule a roof inspection to make sure your building is ready for snowfall. Any component that has continuous exposure to the elements may need occasional repairs.


During the summer, heat can cause the membrane covering your commercial roof to crack. From there, heavy snow and ice expansion can do further damage, leading to leaks. Split seams, holes, and blisters can all develop in the membrane.


An inspection looks at every component of your roof — including the flashing, underlayment, vents, drainage pipes, gutters, and membrane cover — for potential damage. Your roofing contractor will report any dangers and recommend steps that should be taken before it snows.


Have the roof repaired


If your inspection finds roof damage, you should have it repaired before winter. Even if the damage is minor, such as a split seam or small hole, the freezing and thawing cycle could cause it to escalate quickly into a full-blown leak.


Have your roofing contractor make these repairs before they have a chance to get worse. Being proactive can save you money on roof repairs and prevent you from having to deal with a flood inside your building.


Clean the roof before it snows


Keeping the roof clear of debris is crucial if you want to avoid disaster in the winter. 


Your commercial roof has various access points for workers, along with gutters that provide drainage.


Once it starts snowing, you’ll find that the access points are covered, making it more challenging to get up there. The snow also makes it harder to remove debris from your drains and gutters. Leaves and twigs add weight to the roof and drainage system, particularly when wet, which can pull your gutters loose. Worse, the roof is an altogether more difficult place to navigate once snow and ice are present.


After the trees in your area are bare, have your roof cleaned to prevent drainage issues that could damage your property in the coming months. If you have your contractor clean your roof and gutters before it gets snowy and icy, you shouldn’t experience as many problems in the winter.


Implement a snow and ice removal plan


Do you know how you’re going to remove snow and ice from your roof during the winter?


Waiting for everything to melt in the spring can reduce the lifespan of your roof. Throughout winter, the snow and ice melt a bit on warmer days and then refreeze at night. Every time the ice thaws, it has the potential to make its way into the small crevices on your roof. Then, when it refreezes, the water expands and damages your roof.


In addition, when the water refreezes, it becomes harder and more difficult to melt. This leads to more significant build-up throughout the winter. This build-up adds weight to the structure and can potentially lead to damage. 


Not to mention, heavy snow adds a greater load to your roof, which can lead to a collapse in extreme circumstances.


Check your roof multiple times throughout the winter to ensure there isn’t a build-up of ice and come up with a removal plan. You can hire a contractor to handle this job for you, so you never have to worry about excessive snow being an issue.


Create an emergency protocol


If you take the necessary precautions in the fall, you can hopefully avoid roof problems in the winter. But what do you do if you end up with a collapsed or leaking roof?


It helps to have an emergency protocol in place.


Develop a relationship with a roofing contractor before you run into an emergency, so they have time to learn your access points and overall roofing situation. That way, you’ll know who to call in an emergency, and they’ll know how to handle your problem.


Peck Brothers Roofing can help with every step of your winter roof preparation. We inspect, repair, clean, and remove snow from your roof so that you’re not responsible for doing it yourself. Contact us today to put our experienced team of roofing contractors on the job.

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101 Van Riper Ave. Elmwood Park, NJ, 07407

Phone: 201-791-3235