Anyone that has lived in a colder environment knows the dangers of snow and cold weather. An ice dam can form on your roof in 24 hours and it only takes a gallon of water behind it to cause a leak. Even worse damage can develop if you fail to prepare for inclement weather.
A severe weather warning should always be taken seriously, regardless of how many other dangerous storms you\’ve been through. The most minor damage can lead to extensive water and structural damage later on. Your building\’s roof is a key part of keeping you safe and protected from the outside elements.
Here are some of the roof preparations you can do to avoid damage after stormy weather.
Track Weather Patterns
First and foremost, you should always keep an eye on your local weather patterns. You don\’t want to get caught off guard or ignore a severe weather warning.
You can find out about a bad storm day in advance by checking the weather channel and doing the necessary preparations. The National Weather Service will also push emergency alerts onto your phone at least a day or two in advance.
Inspect and Maintain Roof
Inclement weather isn\’t the only way your roof can get damaged. Pests can make their home out of your roof space. Water damage can accumulate if there\’s pooling or if your roof wasn\’t constructed properly in the first place.
Roof maintenance is essential if you want it to last longer and hold up to bad weather. A roofer can inspect your building and note any problem areas. You can also take a walk around your property and look for more noticeable issues.
You can begin repairs once you\’ve identified any leaks or damaged roofing material, some of which your insurance should cover. Some signs that you may need a complete commercial roof replacement include blistering, ponding, and musty odors. You may also notice energy bills rising due to holes in your insulation.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Your gutters and downspouts help redirect water off of your roof and onto other parts of your property. Without them, your soil can suffer severe erosion which then leads to runoff flowing toward your building. Blocked gutters not only fail at doing their job but can lead to water backing up onto your roof.
When water collects around the edges of your roof, it can get underneath your roof material. The only other place that water can go is inside your ceiling space in the form of leaks.
As long as you keep your gutters and downspouts cleared out and in good condition, you shouldn\’t have any problems.
Trim Nearby Trees
One of the greatest threats to your roof is right there on your property. You rely on trees for a number of reasons, such as helping reduce excess sunlight and acting as a windbreaker.
However, broken branches can fall on your roof and cause damage. Even healthy branches can tear into your roof membrane on a windy day if they grow close enough to touch them.
To avoid later roof repair, trim away all branches touching your roof or hovering above them. You may also want to keep an eye out for any weak or diseased trees on your property.
Install Ice and Water Shields
Ice and water shields are underlayments that you adhere to your roof as an extra level of protection. They go under your normal roofing materials, so they won\’t blow away in a strong wind. You can expect better leak protection, whether it\’s from a hurricane or an ice dam.
Alternatively, you can waterproof your roof with certain coatings and linings. For example, EPDM rubber coating is applied over metal roofs. The rubber expands and contracts with the weather, so it serves to stop leaks and strengthen your roof.
Secure Your Windows
Everything in your building is connected. If the structural integrity of your building fails, then your roof can cave in. A similar situation can happen if your windows are compromised.
Broken windows open up your building to outside airflow. A change in pressure can result in a storm tearing off your roof or causing it to collapse.
Some effective ways to secure your windows include installing storm shutters, covering them with plywood, or applying hurricane window protective film. Don\’t bother applying tape to your windows, though. It only makes a window break into larger, more dangerous shards of glass.
Buy Tarps in Advance
You can do everything right to protect your roof, but there\’s still a chance it\’ll take some damage. A damaged roof leaves you prone to leaks, which can lead to a rotting structure, mildew, and mold. Leaks can also make it more difficult for your air conditioning unit to keep your interior cool or warm.
Tarps come in handy for protecting your building from leaks until you can get repairs done. However, they sell out quickly after a storm. Make sure to buy at least a few in advance and store them away until you need them.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Commercial property insurance is there to protect your assets after a fire, vandalism, or severe weather damage. Most property insurance policies should cover the cost of repairs after a storm. That includes a tree falling due to heavy winds or new leaks that spring up due to roof damage.
However, there may be certain requirements you need to fulfill before your insurance provides coverage. For example, they may need proof that you\’ve done everything you can to prevent damage. They also need to check that there wasn\’t pre-existing damage that left your roof weakened.
Recovering After Severe Weather Warning
A severe weather warning gives you extra time to prepare your commercial building against storm damage. You can tie things down, trim some branches, and brace your windows against debris. However, pre-existing issues can leave your building more vulnerable to stormy conditions.
Yutzy Roofing Service has the solution for all of your roofing needs. We can restore your current roof, apply a protective coating, and restore roof membranes. Contact us to learn more about our services and get a free quote.