With another winter on the way, the roof on your commercial property will soon have to endure considerable stress from snow, ice, and slush. The time to get prepared for winters worst is now, well before the first flakes of snow begin to fly.

You should start by scheduling a comprehensive inspection with your roofing professional so deficiencies can be identified and needed maintenance and repairs completed before winter’s arrival. Once you’ve tackled these items and your roof is in the best possible condition to withstand winter weather, here are some tips on how to prepare for routine and emergency snow removal.

Implement a Strategy for Roof Monitoring

Monitoring your roof throughout the winter helps you determine when snow removal is necessary, so you can avoid structural damage or a possible roof collapse.

  • Ask your roofing contractor to help you determine the snow load limit for your roof. Per state building codes, the design snow load limit is around 20 pounds per square foot, but what your roof can safely tolerate depends on the building’s construction and the type and age of your roof system.
  • Have your maintenance staff check the roof’s condition frequently and record the quantity and type of snow that’s collecting. The weight of a cubic foot of snow can vary from roughly 20 to 60 pounds depending on its water content. A foot of fresh, fluffy snow equates to just one inch of ice, so the makeup of what’s on your roof matters.
  • Inspect the building’s interior regularly for leaks or sags in the ceilings, and pay attention to odd noises that indicate stress is being placed on the roof’s structure, like creaking, popping and cracking sounds.

Have an Experienced Professional Handle Your Snow Removal

When the amount of snow on your roof approaches the safe load limit, it may be tempting to have your maintenance staff clear it, but you’re risking costly roof damage from the improper use of shovels or other tools. Snow-laden roofs are often slippery, too, and a single misstep can result in a fall and serious injuries. An experienced roofing crew has the equipment and know-how to safely clear off the built-up snow so it doesn’t exceed the load limit, and your roof is protected against structural harm or a collapse.

To arrange routine or emergency snow removal services for the roof on your Amherst-area commercial property, contact us at Vanguard Roofing.

Read: The Worst Kind of Snow for Your Roof