Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

How To Protect Your Flat Roof From Storm Damage This Winter

by Clinton Stone

Flat roofs are common among businesses and apartment buildings, and while they do have advantages, these roof types are susceptible to damage from winter precipitation and storm activity. These tips will help you protect your flat roof from winter's snow and ice. 

Keep the Roof Top Clear

Leaves and sticks will likely blow onto the roof in fall and early winter. This buildup of organic debris can harbor moisture, causing the roofing material and wood beneath to degrade with time. Once wood rot sets in, melting snow and ice can easily cause a leak. To protect the roofing material from this type of damage, clear the roof on a regular basis, especially during the fall. Simply raking up the leaves and sweeping off the dirt should be adequate. To prevent accidents, avoid throwing debris over the side of the roof. Instead, collect it in a garbage bag or garbage can. 

Clear Rooftop Drains

Flat roofs come with drains that allow puddles and moisture to escape the roof without penetrating the roofing material. Unfortunately, drains can become clogged.

Check your building's roof after each storm, and keep the drain covers clear of debris. If a puddle is forming around the opening of the roof drain, this is a clear indication that the drain itself is clogged. Remove the drain cover, then use a plumber's auger to drill through the clog. Once the clog is removed, flush the drain with a strong spray of water to push any leftover debris out of the pipe.

Remove Snow

Melting snow can cause a variety of problems for flat rooftops. Melting snow keeps the surface of the roof bathed in moisture, which can contribute to the decline of the roofing material. Flashing and caulking can quickly degrade under these conditions. In addition, flat roofs that experience heavy, wet snowfalls may be at risk for collapse. While dustings of snow may not threaten the integrity of the roof, larger snowfalls should be removed. Professional snow removal services will have the proper snow removal equipment to get the work done quickly and safely. 

Depending on the age of your roof and the level of maintenance you're able to provide, your flat roof may do well this winter. However, it's wise to be cognizant of the risks to flat roofs. Inspect your building's ceiling for leaks on a regular basis. If your roof should develop a leak, contact a roofing company like RSG Home Improvements LLC immediately to prevent further damage.