Flat roofs and snow aren’t the best combinations. The weight of the snow and the water that runs off as snow thaws can cause all sorts of problems on the roof. Here’s what you need to know about your flat roof and snow removal.

Flat Roofs and Snow

One main thing that flat roofs have working against them is the lack of slope to channel water off the roof efficiently. Snow accumulates easily. As it thaws, the melted water tends to pool, putting extra weight and stress on the roof structure.  

Properly installed commercial flat roofs will have an efficient drainage system, designed to move water away quickly. However, those gutters can become clogged, allowing water to backup and settle on the roof.

Ice damming and freeze-thaw expansion can also wreak havoc on your flat roof.

What To Look For When Winter Comes

When winter arrives, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for potential problems on your flat roof:

  • Bowing or buckling of the walls and beams
  • Excessive icicle formation along the edges
  • Cracks or displaced tiles on the ceiling inside
  • Signs of leaks
  • Large chunks of ice falling off the roof

If you see any of these indicators, you need to call a roofing professional immediately to prevent further damage and to make repairs.

Special Considerations for Snow Removal

Removing snow from a flat roof is essential to prevent damage. However, it’s just as important to prevent damage that could be caused by the snow removal itself. Here’s a few special considerations for removing snow on a flat roof.

  • Keep the perimeter of the building clear so no one gets injured. Remove any objects that might be damaged.
  • Use a shovel to remove most of the accumulated snow. Take care, however, to stay clear of the roof itself, as a shovel can cause extensive damage to the surface.
  • Use a soft broom to remove the remaining snow on the roof surface.
  • If you have ice remaining, you can use a de-icing solution to melt it off. Always consult with a roofer, however, to make sure the solution won’t damage your roofing material.
  • Clear the gutters and downspouts as well. Melting snow needs a way to drain off.

Maintaining your flat roof during winter will prevent damage and keep the structure intact. For any commercial roofing needs you might have, contact Vanguard Roofing today.