The temperatures are cooling, the leaves are changing and everything pumpkin is all around us: it’s official, fall is here! And we all know what comes after fall – the snow and low, sometimes harsh, temperatures of winter.
So what does this mean for your commercial roofing system? First, it means that fall is the perfect time to prepare a facility roof for the winter season. The frigid temperatures, icy winds and heavy snow that winter brings increase the stress on roof systems. During the freeze-thaw cycle, snow and ice melt and can cause water to seep into tiny roof cracks. When the water refreezes, it expands the cracks and increases the risk of leaks and roof damage.
The best way to protect a roof against the wrath of winter is to ensure it is in good shape before the snow flies. Check out our fall roof maintenance tips below.
Fall Roof Inspections
A roof inspection is used to assess the overall condition of the roof and locate problem areas that need to be fixed before winter. Typically, these inspections are conducted twice a year, in the fall to prep the roof for winter and again in the spring to assess any damages winter weather may have caused. When inspecting a roof, first walk the roof to locate the areas that require repair, then check for internal leaks.
Most common areas for leaks include:
- Perimeter edges
- Seams & edges
- Areas surrounding rooftop equipment
When preparing for winter, maintenance is key. Begin by cleaning the roof of all dirt, debris and contaminants. Also, ensure all drains, scuppers, gutters and downspouts are unobstructed. The areas flagged for repair during your inspection should be repaired in the best manner possible. Additional repairs or restoration might be required depending on roof design and the potential for severe winter storms, ice buildup and heavy snow loads.
For roofs in rough shape or those that are expecting a particularly severe winter, fall is the best time to apply a protective roof coating. In addition to ensuring that the roof remains watertight over the winter months, a restoration coating will extend the life of a roof for 10 or more years.