Snow removal from a commercial roof is a necessary task for many businesses during the winter season. It can be dangerous, though, as falling snow and ice can cause serious injury or even death. Therefore, it is important to take the proper safety measures when removing snow from your business’s roof.
Why do I need to remove snow and ice from my roof?
Snow and ice can cause damage to your commercial roof by adding extra weight, which can strain the structure of your building and even lead to collapse if the load is too great. In addition, moisture from melted snow can seep into cracks and crevices in your roofing materials, leading to rot and leaks. Not only can this be expensive to repair, but it could also cause further damage to your building’s interior.
There are other dangers associated with snow and ice on your roof too. Poorly insulated roofs will cause the snow on top of the roof to start to melt, forming an icy sheet on the roof surface as well as icicles along the edge of the roof. Both falling snow and icicles can be extremely dangerous if they fall on someone below, or cause damage to property.
How to Remove Snow From a Commercial Roof Safely
It’s almost never a good idea to attempt to remove snow from a commercial roof yourself. Instead, hire a professional roofing contractor who is experienced in snow removal and has the right safety equipment to do the job safely. By hiring a professional you avoid:
- Risking injury from slipping or falling
- Damaging the roof itself such as membrane tears or punctures, which could lead to leaks and other costly repairs
- Electrocution from power lines that may be hidden under the snow or extension cords
- Potentially damaging nearby property if falling snow or ice is not contained properly
- Not adhering to OSHA fall protection regulations
By hiring a roofing professional, you get experts who have:
- The necessary training and experience to safely remove snow from your commercial roof with minimal risk of injury or damage to property.
- Access to special tools and equipment that can make it easier and faster to remove large amounts of snow quickly, without causing any unnecessary strain on your roof structure.
- Knowledge of any special requirements for snow removal in your area, such as the use of a specific type of machinery or permanent snow retention systems.
Professionals can also inspect your roof before and after snow is removed so that you know it’s secure and safe from any damage caused by the accumulation of heavy snow or ice.
At Superior Services, we can look at your roof before snow or ice accumulates, so that we can make sure your roof is well insulated and in good condition before the snow arrives. We determine if any preventative maintenance is necessary, and then provide you with a plan of action to keep your roof safe throughout the winter. Learn more about our commercial roof snow and ice removal services.
How do I know if my roof has too much snow or ice?
Every commercial roof is different and has different capacities for snow and ice accumulation. Factors can include the age of your roof, the type of materials used, and the pitch or slope of the roof. The best way to determine if your commercial roof can safely handle a certain amount of snow and ice is to have a professional come in and check it out.
As a good rule of thumb, snow and ice should be removed once your roof has reached 50% of its capacity for the winter season. This is usually when 6 inches of snow has accumulated on your roof, or when ice buildup starts to form along the edges. However, because snow weight is variable, you should not judge how much weight is on top of your roof by snow accumulation alone.
There are some warning signs that you might need to get snow or ice cleared from your roof. These may include:
Window or door damage: Heavy snow and ice can cause windows and doors to become misaligned or stuck, so make sure you test them after a big snowstorm and periodically throughout the winter season.
Visible signs of ceiling damage: Cracking, buckling, and water leaks are obvious signs. If your ceiling appears to sag or buckle, it’s time to call a professional snow removal service.
Ice dams: Ice dams form when melted water from the roof freezes and accumulates along the edges of your roof. This can cause serious damage, so it’s important to get this taken care of quickly.
Noise from your roof: An excessive amount of snow or ice on your roof can cause loud creaking and groaning noises as a result of pressure or when the temperature drops. If you hear these sounds, it’s time to have a professional take a look.
Clogged gutters: Snow and ice can easily build up in clogged gutters, preventing water from draining properly. This can cause significant damage to the structure of your roof, so be sure to keep an eye on your gutters this winter.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to call a professional right away to assess the situation and provide solutions for protecting your commercial roof.
How do I keep my roof from getting too much snow and ice in the first place?
While it’s impossible to control the weather, there are a few things you can do to prevent too much snow and ice from accumulating on your roof:
A roof without proper insulation can cause snow to start melting and then refreeze when it hits the cold air, forming an icy sheet on your roof. Installing proper insulation helps keep the heat inside your building which in turn prevents snow from melting and refreezing.
Coating or sealant Maintenance
Another way to protect your roof from leaks due to snow and ice melting is to install a good quality roof coating or sealant. This will help protect your roof from the elements, as well as prevent water from seeping in through cracks and crevices.
Gutter System Repairs
Having a good quality gutter system installed on your commercial building will help to keep snow and ice away by channeling it away from the roof. Clogged gutters can be an invitation for snow and ice to accumulate along the edge of your roof.
Finally, having regular maintenance and inspections done on your commercial roof will help to identify any problem areas before they become a bigger issue. A professional roofing contractor can spot any signs of damage or wear that can lead to snow and ice buildup and address them right away.
Again, at Superior Services, we can ensure that your commercial roof is in good condition before the snow and ice arrive. Learn more on our commercial roof snow and ice removal services.
What should I do if my roof is damaged from excessive accumulation of snow or ice?
If you have experienced roof damage in the form of cracks, buckling, or water leaks due to excessive snow and ice accumulation on your commercial roof, it’s important to act right away. At Superior Services, we address the most critical issues first, and then help you to create a plan of action for long term repairs. We can also provide a free consultation on how to best protect your roof from further damage in the future.
Removing snow from a commercial roof is an important step in protecting your business from the dangers associated with winter weather. Make sure to hire a professional who has the necessary training and experience to do the job safely. Doing so will not only keep you safe, but it can also help reduce costly repair bills due to damage caused by heavy snow and ice.