Ask the Expert: How Do I Prepare My Commercial Roof for Winter?

Ask the Expert: How Do I Prepare My Commercial Roof for Winter?


Fall is upon us and the chill of winter won’t be too far behind. Your commercial roof has been busy this summer, protecting your people, equipment, products and materials from summer storms, hail, high winds, and intense heat. It deserves some care and attention before it offers the same level of protection come winter. How can you prepare your roof for the frigid temperatures, ice and snow to come? Rod Petrick, President and Owner of Ridgeworth Roofing, answers some common questions.

1. What can I do on my own to start preparing my commercial roof for winter?

The first thing you can do is conduct an informal inspection on your own. Go up on your roof and look around, as long as you are certain it’s safe to do so. Early fall is typically a great time of year to take a walk around up there, as icy conditions are unlikely.

You don’t necessarily need to be an expert to observe what should or shouldn’t be happening on your roof. Look for debris of all kinds: leaves, branches, trash that may have blown on top of your roof. You’d be surprised at what can make its way up there. Plastic grocery bags, for example, are common culprits, especially on and around shopping centers. Remove anything that doesn’t belong, as debris can clog roof drains and gutters, preventing drainage and causing water to back up onto the roof surface. Take a look at your HVAC equipment as well. Does everything appear to be in order? Are doors closed securely to prevent water from entering the building through them?

If you see debris that you can’t remove safely or an issue with mechanicals that you’re unable to address, make a note and contact a professional roofing or mechanical contractor accordingly.

2. What should I be looking for in terms of damage?

Take a look at the roof’s surface and components for signs of wear and tear. Examine the flashing, gutters, downspouts, scuppers and scupper boxes for damage. Check the entire surface for standing water, as ponding indicates a problem with drainage.

Once you return to the ground, you can also check inside the building for evidence of leaks. Staining is a telltale sign that water has somehow made its way into your building, but bear in mind that the roof is not always to blame. Whatever the cause, you’ll want to get to the bottom of where that water is coming from.

3. What is the most important thing I should do to ensure my commercial roof is ready?

The absolute best thing you can do for the health of your roof is to contact a professional roofing contractor to schedule an annual inspection and preventative maintenance. No matter how thorough a job you do on your own rooftop inspection, nothing can match the expertise of a professional. They will check everything to ensure your roof’s ability to perform properly throughout the winter. And when you do call to schedule your appointment, do so as soon as possible, as safety concerns related to wintry weather can prevent a contractor from inspecting your roof and making any necessary repairs.

The season of fall grabs our attention with its crisp air and vibrant colors. It reminds us to start preparing for the days to come. And when it comes to preparing your roof for the winter, there’s no better time than today to get started.

For more than 40 years, Ridgeworth Roofing’s experts have been providing the best in annual inspection and preventative maintenance services to satisfied customers in the Chicagoland area. It’s time to prepare your roof for the cold months ahead.

Contact us today.


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