Commercial Roof Maintenance Tips: Prepping Your Roof For Winter Freeze
Front Range Roofing Systems has decades of experience helping customers navigate Rocky Mountain winters.
Here are some commercial roof maintenance tips to consider as we head into the coldest part of the year.
Colorado and Wyoming have incredibly harsh winters; while we KNOW it’s coming every single year no matter what, winter still tends to sneak upon us. Some years we get an early winter with heavy snow in September, and some years we don’t see snow until December. Here on the Northern Front Range of the Rockies, you really don’t know what the weather is until it’s on top of you, so it’s best to be prepared at all times. Here are some commercial roof maintenance tips to help with those preparations.
First, what do freezing temperatures do to my roof?
When the temperature drops below freezing, there are a few things to consider. Your roof is the first line of defense when it comes to the outside elements, so paying attention to the weather can help you understand what your roof endures. The freeze cycle can be somewhat dangerous in the Northern Front Range, because the sun shines warm during the day, melting ice and snow…but then that water will freeze at night during the cycle. When water freezes, it expands. This can cause issues because if water has penetrated into a crack and then it freezes, it will literally expand the size of the opening. Therefore, paying attention to the freeze cycle is important, especially for flat rooftops that don’t have the natural positive drainage of a pitched roof.
Late summer is a great time to get a commercial roof inspection (ahead of the freeze).
It really is best to get rid of issues like ponding (an area where water doesn’t drain and it creates a “pond” of water), tears, punctures, and busted scuppers BEFORE the winter comes. Having a professional commercial roofing contractor come out and run a pro inspection in July/August is a smart move. This will give you time to repair any issues prior to September/October when the weather starts transitioning to winter. If nothing is found in your July inspection and no repairs were needed, we suggest getting one more detailed inspection in October (a few months later) just to make sure no damage is incurred during the later summer months.
Plan ahead! Leave time to get repairs done, and do NOT wait to get them fixed until the following summer.
With the labor shortage, the supply shortage, and everything that’s happened in our industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been telling our customers to plan well ahead for all projects. If you had your roof inspected in July and your commercial roofing partner gave you a list of needed repairs, it’s important not to wait to get them fixed. Work with your contractor to get the repairs scheduled as soon as possible (the sooner the better, to avoid those winter mishaps)—and it’s important to expect at least four weeks of lead time to gather materials and schedule the work. These repairs will help minimize winter’s impact on the rooftop.
Keep a detailed weather log for all of your properties.
As mentioned before, it’s important to be ‘weather aware’ when you own or manage multiple commercial properties. Extreme temperatures and weather should be logged and this log should be checked at least once per week. Looking over what the commercial roof has “weathered” in the past month can sometimes be an indicator to call your commercial roof maintenance partner to run a quick inspection. If these issues are caught early, it can save thousands of dollars in needed repairs. In addition to that, only a structurally sound roof can undergo a restoration…letting these issues persist could make restoration impossible (causing the need for a premature, expensive replacement project).
Drone inspections can be very helpful after heavy winter weather events.
We’re not saying to go out and buy a drone and learn how to fly it (even though it’s super fun), but a quick drone inspection of the commercial roof can indicate whether a call needs to be made (and you can do this from the safety of the ground). After heavy snow and then a sunny day, if the drone captures a lot of water ponding and damage, it’s time to call your commercial roofing partner. Winter never stops us from coming out to take a look, and catching issues as they appear is the key to extending the lifetime of your building’s roof.
No drone? No problem. Just give us a call.
Front Range Roofing Systems works in every kind of weather, and we don’t let winter slow us down. If there is an issue with your commercial roof, we have one of the largest emergency repair departments in Colorado. We are more than happy to take the call and schedule a technician to survey the roof and make suggestions. We always prioritize our recommendations as well! Some repairs should be taken care of immediately, while others might be able to wait and aren’t as critical. We’re also here to help you run successful commercial roof maintenance programs for all of your properties. Please reach out to us for a free consultation at any time.