The ice and snow from a cold winter can put some strain on a pitched roof, but a flat roof on a commercial building can easily see damage caused by leaks and ice dams. Keeping flat roofs free of extra weight is crucial to keep the overall structure stable. Thankfully, there are some easy things that can be done to keep a roof in great shape throughout the winter months.
Warm air will rise to the very top of your building, which can cause the roof to stay warm when you have the heat on. This air will eventually cause the snow that fell on your roof to melt. When your business closes up at night and the thermostat gets turned down, the temperature of your roof will fall and cause all that melted snow to turn into ice. The cycle of freezing and melting water can cause your roof to become damaged quite easily.
Your best defense against this problem is to add more insulation underneath the roof. A roofing contractor specializing in commercial roofing services can even tell you where your hot spots are with an infrared camera, giving you a place to focus on. The result will be less damage after a snowfall, since the snow won't melt as easily. You'll also save money on your energy bills in the winter, due to less heat escaping.
Another area that can cause roof damage is your gutters. If you neglected to have them cleaned at the end of the fall, you may have clogged gutters filled with leaves and other debris. This will cause the snow and ice to become trapped within the gutters, which will pull down on the material and cause them to become broken. It can also cause water to reach the top of the gutters, which will allow water to get underneath the bottom of your roofing material.
Be sure to clean those gutters each fall, even if you feel there is not that much debris in them. It will allow water to flow off your roof in an easier manner.
Snow can weigh a lot, which is not good for your roof if it wasn't built with the intention of holding all that weight. You'll want to remove snow by using a roof rake to pull it down from the ground level. Act fast when the snow is light and fluffy, to make this task easier to do on your own.