The time for spring cleaning is here! For a lot of us that means performing tasks like washing windows, clearing leaves and sticks, etc., but it’s also important to check your roof. Roofs experience the brunt of Mother Nature during the winter: snow, ice, heavy rains, strong winds, and in 2021, the Polar Vortex!

Causes of Roof Distress

  • Snow can create heavy loads on your roofs, leading to failures. To avoid this, facility managers typically remove this snow with shovels or roof rakes. We have even seen snow blowers on the roof, which is not recommended! All of these techniques can damage the roof, ranging from punctures to displaced shingles.
  • Ice damming at the roof edges can crack, cup, or dislodge shingles, as well as damage fascias, gutters, and downspouts. This damage can lead to moisture intrusion and ultimately mold and rot.
  • Ice can clog internal drains, causing prolonged moisture on the roof that could deteriorate roof and flashing membrane seams.
  • Strong winds and heavy rain can cause tree limbs to break and fall onto roof surfaces, which could puncture the membrane.

Maintenance Checklist

Now that our roofs are snow- and ice-free, it is a perfect time to inspect your roof and address small issues before they become big problems:

  • Clean up any debris, such as leaves, branches, bird nests, moss, and mold
  • Clear drains and gutters, and address any that are loose, damaged, or missing
  • Inspect your roof for damage caused by removing ice dams and snow
  • Check for any open seams in the roof and flashings
  • Inspect your shingles to make sure they aren’t missing or damaged
  • Secure loose nails and flashing that may have become dislodged

Should one or more of the above occur, consider retaining a qualified roof consultant to assist with a more in-depth analysis.

Consider a Roof Management Plan

The conditions mentioned above are part of a yearly cycle that can cause distress on all types of roof systems. For methods on tracking repairs, maintenance, warranties, etc., please ask us about our program-based Roof Management Plans. In addition, feel free to reach out to us for any of your building enclosure, structural engineering, or civil engineering needs.

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