Building Advice from a Seasoned Woodworker

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Is Your Commercial Roof Ready For Winter?

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Winter will be here before you know it. If your commercial roof isn't ready, now is the time to make sure it gets ready. Many commercial rooftops run into trouble in the winter because they're flat, and snow tends to gather on them without melting. Roofs that haven't been maintained properly have a way of leaking when this happens. In order to help your flat roof maintain its structural integrity throughout the winter, now is the time to look for rot, identify potential sources of leaks and clear the drains. Most of this can be done as a DIY project, if you're trying to save money.

Remove Leaves and Debris

Fallen leaves can trap in moisture on parts of your roof. To avoid problems, remove all leaves and other organic debris. Use garbage bags to collect the debris. Avoid throwing anything over the side of your roof, just in case customers are walking past.

Check the Drain for Clogs

The best time to inspect your commercial roof is after a rain, because then you'll be able to see if the drain on the roof has a clog. If there's a large puddle of water around the opening in the pipe, you'll know that the drain needs to be cleared. If you're inspecting your roof even though it hasn't rained in a while, look for signs of a slow-moving drain. If there's a drain clog, you'll see water stains around the drain opening. If the drain is clogged, use a plumber's auger to clear the drain, then flush it with water to ensure that the drain is clear.

Check the Caulk and Replace if Necessary

Walk around the roof slowly and examine the condition of the caulk. Look for indications that the caulk is deteriorating. If the caulk is deteriorating, you'll see cracks and missing chunks in the surface of the caulk. In places where the caulk needs to be replaced, scrape the old caulk off with a putty knife and put new roofing caulk in its place.

Look for Sunken Areas in the Roof

Your entire roof should be slightly tilted toward the drain. Sunken areas can make puddles which can lead to water damage. If you see sunken areas while inspecting the roof, contact a local commercial roofing contractor for repairs. Doing this in the fall before snow comes can help you get ready for winter and avoid leaks after winter storms.