Why Business Owners Should be Wary of Snow on the Roof
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Effect of snow on the Roof of Your Business

Published by Andrew Schmidt

While many people around the United States enjoy winter’s beautiful scenery, it poses some threats to business owners. For those who live in areas of heavy snowfall, the potential weight of snow can cause property damage or even collapsed roofs if left unattended. To ensure your roof and business don’t collapse under the pressure of winter weather, look out for the following signs of stress.

Roof Stress Symptoms

  • Bowing – Each cubic foot of snow is estimated to weigh approximately 20 pounds, so a few feet of snow across a flat commercial roof can easily weigh above thousands of pounds. As soon as your roof begins to bow or sag, you can immediately tell there are structural integrity issues. When the heavy snow is not removed, you run the risk of a roof collapse, leaving you and your business out in the cold.
  • Ponding – When the drainage system of the roof becomes blocked, the melting snow and ice create a large body of water. This is called ponding, and it can damage your roof in the form of mold, leaks, and breakdowns of the roofing materials.
  • Leaking – Water always seeks the lowest point, and if that isn’t the drainage system, then you may find water damage within your business premises. Leaks can start small but grow rapidly, especially as the weight of snow increases. This can lead to costly repairs and even disrupt your business operations.
  • Icicle Formation – Icicles may look picturesque, but they signal a potential hazard. Their formation can be an indicator of an ice dam on the roof, which happens when the heat from inside your building melts the snow on the roof. The water trickles down and refreezes at the roof’s edge, creating icicles and potentially damaging gutters and downspouts.
  • Increased Energy Bills – Snow accumulation on your roof can also lead to higher energy costs. The snow acts as insulation, trapping heat inside the building, which in turn makes your heating system work harder to maintain temperatures. This spike in energy use not only costs you more but also puts additional strain on your heating systems.

Preventative Measures

  • Regular Inspection and Roof Maintenance – Regularly inspect your roof for any signs of wear and tear, especially before the winter season starts. Addressing small issues early can prevent them from turning into bigger, more expensive problems.
  • Snow Removal Plan – Develop a snow removal plan for your roof. This could involve hiring professionals who specialize in commercial roofing snow removal. Remember, safety first – never attempt to remove snow from the roof yourself.
  • Proper Insulation and Ventilation – Ensuring your building is properly insulated and ventilated can prevent heat loss, reducing the likelihood of ice dam formation.
  • Upgrade Drainage System – Make sure your roof’s drainage system is clear of debris and functioning correctly. This helps to prevent ponding and the associated problems.

By being proactive and vigilant, business owners can protect their buildings and avoid the dangers posed by snow accumulation on their roofs. However, you can never predict the weather, so if you need reassurance about your roof’s stability, contact the Showalter Roofing contractors.

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