Flat Roofs on Snowstorms: What you need to know

As flat roofs have their advantages, one of their enemies is during the colder seasons. The snow and ice can accumulate on your rooftop blocking your drainage system which can worsen over time. So how do you prepare your flat roofs during the snowstorm?

First, let’s know what design factors that can affect your roof during the snowstorm.

Flat Roofs on Snowstorms: What you need to know

1. Insulation

Unlike pitched roofs, flat roofs don’t have that space where the interior air can circulate which can quickly, compared to a pitched roof, warm up your roof, melting the snow. This snowmelt will eventually run off towards the edges and refreeze, which is popularly known as ice dams. 

There are a lot of ways of upgrading your insulation like adding a thicker layer of insulation or even replacing your insulation with newer and better insulation material. These upgrades will lessen the possibility of ice dams as the interior heat will not easily penetrate through your roof. 

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2.Waterproofing 

One of the most vital parts of flat roof design is your waterproofing. Prior to snowstorms, your waterproofing might have acquired other damages from excessive heat, debris, or the common wear and tear. Neglecting these damages might worsen during the colder days as moisture will leak through the cracks, damaging your insulation and would cause problems to your structural stability. 

Investing in a good quality waterproofing membrane will be your best ally with the different temperature changes, especially in snowstorms. Waterproofing can range from built-up roofing systems and modified bitumen systems to single-layer membrane roofs. Contact your local roof specialist to assess what material works best with your budget. 

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3. Drainage system

Eventually, this snow and ice will melt which is why your drainage system should be designed to accommodate the snow melts. Drainage should also be designed to be easily accessible for repair for clogging during your routine check-up or maintenance. 

How do you prepare your flat roofs before a snowstorm?

1. Repair Damages

-Check for any peel-off or bruised waterproofing membrane and have it quickly repaired by roofers offering roof repair services. 

-Check your roofing insulation if it is efficient and if the insulation is still in good condition. Check for any mold growth or discoloration as it is an indication of leaks on your roof. 

2. Clear your drainage system

Remove any debris like leaves, twigs, stones, and other foreign material that can cover your drainage system which will contribute to the ponding of water. Make sure that your drainage system is not clogged and if so, try running off with pressured water. If clogging is still present, contact your local plumber or roofer that specializes in drainage systems to have it de-clog as soon as possible. 

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3. Conduct routine inspection

Prevention is always better than cure. Before problems might escalate, have it repaired which will cost less compared to waiting for it to get worse. A routine inspection checklist should be and not be limited to checking your waterproofing membrane, drainage system, roof insulation, structural stability, and leak marks that can be seen inside of your structure. 

4. Contact your professional roofer

Have your roof assessment with a professional roofing contractor or specialist to have an in-depth inspection of your roof. This will help you be prepared for the snowstorm and prepare the necessary preventive measures and you can even learn what other parts should be inspected which you can add to your routine inspection. 

 

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