A typical New England winter produces a lot of snow, and this kind of precipitation can cause significant problems on a commercial or industrial roof. Here are some of the most common snow-related issues that can wreak havoc on your roof:
Your roof can handle a specific weight limit of snow buildup, and if that’s exceeded, it can seriously damage the roof system or cause a partial or complete collapse. This makes it essential to know your roof design’s snow load and keep tabs on what’s accumulated so you can schedule snow removal for your industrial building as necessary during the winter.
Drifting and Sliding
In addition to paying attention to your building’s snow load tolerance, you also need to factor in the movement of snow on your roof. If your building has a low-slope roof, swirling winds can push snow into sheltered areas around obstructions and protrusions, creating an unbalanced weight load and greater stress in these areas. With a pitched-roof building, snow can easily slide off and land on any lower sections of the roof, which makes these areas particularly vulnerable to serious structural damage or a collapse.
Thawing and Refreezing
During our Connecticut winters, there are always periods when the temperature rises and then dips back down below freezing. Snow is bound to melt when it’s above 32 degrees outside, and if the runoff can’t drain away quickly and easily, it will pool on the roof field and refreeze. This creates a concentrated load that can compress the roof insulation and damage the supporting structure. Once pooling water and ice form a depression, it starts a vicious cycle of ever-worsening ponding during subsequent freeze/thaw cycles.
Ice Dam Formation
Repeated thaws and freezes can allow ice dams to form along your roof’s edge and in the scuppers, gutters and downspouts. Once there’s a buildup of ice inhibiting proper drainage, water from melting snow will back up in the drainage system. Any liquid trapped in the drains is going to expand as it refreezes, and the pressure can crack the drain pipes and allow water into your roof system and building interior during the next thaw.
If you’re concerned about the potential impact of snow on your Danbury, CT property’s roof, or if you’re looking to partner with a local company with considerable experience in rooftop snow removal for industrial buildings, contact us at Vanguard Roofing.