How Snow and Ice Impact Your Commercial Roof
Heavy snowfall is a fact of life in Michigan and other northern areas of the country. Unfortunately, snow and ice can dramatically impact your commercial roof. Find out what affects winter weather can have on your commercial property and discover how commercial roofers can assist you in emergency repairs, preventative maintenance and full-scale roof replacement services.
Compromised Roof Materials
Don’t risk roof damage from routine snow and ice. There are three basic ways that snow and ice can compromise your roofing material:
- Excessive weight
- Standing water
- Broken ice chunks
Heavy snow and ice increases the risk of a collapsed roof. Standing water can penetrate your roofline and cause moisture issues. As ice breaks away from your roof, it can take parts of your roof with it. While this isn’t an issue for metal roofing or other durable options, commercial asphalt or shingled roofs are susceptible to this issue.
Ask a commercial roofing company to inspect your roof and framing. Depending on the age of your building and the type of roof you have, you may need emergency repair services or additional framing to prevent a compromised roof. Moisture issues, over time, can dramatically affect the strength of the structural elements of your roof.
If snow and ice stayed frozen winter you wouldn’t be concerned with all that moisture on your commercial roof. Unfortunately, as temperatures fluctuate and your roof lets off heat, it causes all that buildup to freeze and thaw. This freeze/thaw cycle can trap a great deal of moisture on your commercial roof. Over time, it can leak into your commercial roof and damage the interior of your building.
A common issue seen by commercial roofing services in Michigan is ice dams. An ice dam forms as the snow melts on your sloped commercial roof. As it begins to run down your roof, it can hit a cold portion of your roof. The eaves of your commercial roof are typically cooler than the main portion of your roof, which causes melted snow to freeze into ice.
If left unchecked, all this ice accumulation creates a dam that prevents melted snow from draining off your commercial roof. Just like pooling water on a flat roof, this can lead to roof leaks. Ice dams are far easier to prevent than they are to remove, so look for the first signs of ice dams forming on your commercial roof. A large lump of ice and snow on the edge of your roof is a common sign. Icicles hanging from your roof, while beautiful, is also a sign of an ice dam forming.
Increased Risk of Collapse
Did you know that one cubic foot of snow weighs between 12 and 20 pounds? A single cubic foot may not seem like an extreme amount but spread over a 10,000-square-foot roof the weight can total up to 50 tons of snow. Even if your commercial roof is rated for snowfall in your area, this amount of weight can really take its toll.
Thankfully, commercial roofing companies have the tools and experience necessary to remove excess snow from your roof. This process can be dangerous, particularly on a sloped roof, as all the ice and moisture increases the risk of slipping. Trust a professional team to prevent this issue by scheduling snow removal services.
Protect Your Commercial Roof Investment
At Summit Commercial Roofing, we understand that harsh winters and heavy snowfall are a fact of life in Michigan. However, you can still prevent your business from experiencing roof damage this winter. Contact us today to discuss your commercial roof repair and preventative maintenance needs. Work with an experienced team to protect your roof from the worst of winter and enjoy long-lasting protection.