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Winter Is Coming! 7 Tips to Prepare Your Commercial Rooftop

Posted by Marion McKnight on November 2, 2016

Winter Preperation for Commercial RooftopThe leaves are turning, you’re still picking up stray candy wrappers from trick-or-treaters, and travel plans for Thanksgiving are underway. This can only mean one thing: Fall is in full swing, and winter is right around the corner. For facility managers and building owners in northern regions, this means it’s time to start prepping your buildings for the cold and snow. One of the most important aspects of this preparation is ensuring your rooftop is ready to handle the imminent winter weather. Without further ado, here are seven tips to keep in mind during preparation.

Clear Your Drains and Gutters

Once a layer of snow comes in, it could bury your access points making them difficult to reach. Debris blocking downspouts can slow drainage of melting snow and ice which can extend the length of time your roof is carrying an additional load.

Perform a full rooftop inspection.

For some parts of the country, this could be the last time you’ll have a clear view of the entire roof, so take advantage. Any structural defaults will only amplify with a winter season’s load of snow and ice. An alternative to doing it yourself is to check your local listings for a professional winter inspection team.

Remove Overhanging Tree Limbs and Branches

Tree limbs can cause serious damage to any rooftop, and snow only increases the odds of a branch breaking off. Don’t take any chances – remove any overhanging limbs before the snows start.

Inspect HVAC System and Ductwork

After leaks or roof damage, one of the worst things that could happen during the winter months is your heating system going down. Be sure to inspect all rooftop pipes, ductwork, condensation lines, and housings. Ensure everything is draining properly, check for water accumulation spots, and check the doors to your HVAC system for rust and rot.

Know Your Roof’s Maximum Load Capacity

One cubic foot of snow can weigh anywhere from 20-60 pounds which can add up quickly on a large rooftop. Make sure you know how much your roof can handle and be sure to...

Have a Plan for Removing Snow and Ice

Make sure your building staff is trained in the proper procedures for removing snow and ice or be ready to call in the snow removal pros. Especially when it comes to ice, improper technique, like using a blowtorch or chisel, can lead to serious damage. A professional will know the correct techniques and is equipped with the right chemicals to melt the ice without incurring damage.

Keep in Mind Best Safety Practices

Falls are already a major issue when it comes to working on roofs – even more so during the winter months. One misplaced step on slick ice or a wet spot from melted snow can lead to serious injury so be sure to exercise best safety practices for working on rooftops.

Winter weather is not something to mess around with, especially when it comes to commercial rooftops. Avoid crippling maintenance costs in the future by making sure your rooftop is up to the task of keeping your building warm and dry.

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