Winter may be a beautiful time of year for those who enjoy the picturesque scene of their home covered in snow, but your commercial roofing system doesn’t have the same appreciation for it. In fact, winter months are some of the hardest on your commercial roofing system because of the threat of snow and ice settling on your roof. Business owners should be well aware of some of the serious damage these substances can cause to your roof.
Rooftop Snow and Ice
Different commercial roofs are designed to handle different weight loads, and if too much ice and snow accumulate on top of your office or building, the risk of roof collapse is very real. Wet snow is especially heavy, but large drifts of even lighter snow can exert significant pressures. Sometimes, poor roof drainage and/or poor construction can make the situation worse and lead to an over-stressed roof that begins to creak, leak, and cause ceiling sagging. This is a serious situation, so you should not delay in calling the professionals at TSCR when you see or hear the tell-tale signs.
Ice Dam Formation
When warm air rises from heated spaces, it warms the membrane of your roof and the snow that covers it. This leads to snow melting and dripping down to the colder edges of the roof where it refreezes to ice. Once ice grows thick enough, it backs up further snow-melt behind it, causing water to seep under the membrane and eventually into your building through leakage points. Leaks are more likely when backed up water freezes and thaws, working its way into nooks and crannies and expanding them. Snow load and the freeze/thaw cycle can further loosen the already unsecured roofing membrane, roof flashing, and fasteners, leading to new leaks in the roofing system.
Toxic Long-Term Effects of Water Seepage Into Your Commercial Roofing System
In the longer term, one of the most serious consequences of a leaking roof is mold and mildew growth. Mold can spread throughout the home’s structure, to the HVAC system, and then to the rest of the house through the vents where it can invade carpets, furniture, and even clothing. Black mold is the most common type resulting from chronic water intrusion. Toxic black mold growth is rare, but even non-toxic black mold attacks wood framing, ceiling tiles, walls, and floor coverings. Mold is difficult to get rid of, and it is rather costly. The EPA Resources about Mold in Large Buildings addresses air quality and provides information about reducing moisture and identifying and correcting mold and mildew problems. Read about the legal issues of mold contamination here.
Develop a Plan for Winter Storms
Travelers Indemnity Co has written an excellent article on Developing a Winter Storm Plan for Your Business. You should know how much snow your building can safely handle. Building codes and design criteria based on building usage vary across the U.S. Contact a licensed structural engineer to determine the snow load design for your building… to help prevent a future collapse. If it was built recently, this information may be available from your general contractor. Finish reading this article here
If you are experiencing a new roof leak because of harsh weather call Tri-State Commercial Roofing today A+ Better Business Bureau Rating. We will help you to protect and cover your most valuable assets!. We are a Nashville Roofing Company with an