Maintaining Commercial Flat Roofs in the Winter

If you manage a facility with a flat roof, this post is for you.  You most likely know that preventative maintenance is important, but this is especially true when it comes to commercial flat roofs and Kansas City’s snowy winter months. Commercial flat roofs are often constructed to endure a large amount of snow, but sudden blizzards and large amounts of ice can cause damage that may be costly and dangerous.

The weather and conditions in Kansas City during the winter can be very unpredictable.  There can be days that are quite sunny and warm enough to start melting snow and ice, but as the sun goes down and the air turns cold again, everything that began to thaw will freeze again. Many commercial building managers know that this is when roof problems start for flat-roofed buildings. However, you can protect your building from major roofing repairs with some preventative actions.

Ice Damming

Ice damming is the most common winter problem for industrial flat-roofed buildings.  Ice damming results from snow accumulating on a roof and warm air from inside rising toward the attic or upper story.  This causes the snow to melt and drain toward the gutters and low eaves where it refreezes, creating a dam. When the ice dams grow larger, they can trap moisture on the roof, leading to expensive roof repairs and gutter damage. Preventing ice damming altogether is nearly impossible, but there are a few things you can do to reduce its formation:

  1. Proper ventilation and insulation under the roof: Adequate ventilation will allow cool air to flow efficiently. Proper insulation will prevent warm air from reaching the roof, reducing the amount of the melt and refreeze process.
  2. Have all gutters cleaned and inspected twice a year. Gutters full of leaves and debris will not drain properly, increasing the risk of water damage. Removal of buildup in the gutters will allow them to handle the melting snow rather than letting it pool up.

It is dangerous to climb on icy roofs, so if you need assistance, please contact MAC.  We can help assess, make repairs or help you choose a reliable roof company if you need a complete replacement.  For more information or assistance in making your facility safer, contact Mid-America Contractors today.  MAC is a contractor Kansas City property and facility managers have trusted for more than 25 years.  MAC can help you with any facility repairremodelingcustom cabinetry or flooring projects.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

 

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