How to Weather proofing your roof

Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. These can range from snow and ice to wind and rain or even searing heat. The roof of your commercial building is the first line of defence against these.

When your site is susceptible to storms of any sort, don't throw caution to the wind. It's easy to forget your roof is up there – until it's not.

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Access

A safe roof system starts with correct access. This means you should be able to safely get there in most conditions and with tools. Ask yourself it I tradesperson can get there safely carrying his kit. There are stringent health and safety codes around access and compliance is essential. Access is not only to be able to service plant items on the roof but also to inspect it without causing damage

 

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Inspect

A regular inspection can help ensure damage doesn’t occur.  You need to be able to inspect your roof without walking on it. Walking on a roof can cause indentation where water can pool. This can then lead to algae and corrosion. It can also put stress on screws and fixtures which may ultimately lead to failure.

 

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Keep your roof clean

Most of us are more meticulous with keeping the inside of our building in tip top shape but the exterior and roof are also important. Particularly in relation to serious weather events. Debris can cause pooling of water and trapping of hail and snow. This can lead to water damage inside your building. This is where a good access system is useful to keep your roof clean. When inspecting your roof:

  • Look for damages or signs of wear and tear.
  • Check for fungus and algae.
  • Inspect for rust. If present, wire brush the rust, then prime and pain.
  • If you see signs of leakage within the building, take action immediately. Roof leaks get worse not better and it is better to spend some money to maintenance rather than repair. Better still, prevention is the best medicine.
  • Remove debris. – can trap snow and lead to roof collapse.
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Ensure fixtures are correctly fitted

Anything you fix to the roof must me correctly fixed. Even small structures like ladders or air conditioning units can increase surface areas, catching wind and apply pressure to your roof. To avoid this, ensure add-ons are fixed to the building structure, not directly to the roof.

Walkway systems should use an open mesh so rain water does not collect and wind can also pass through. An open mesh has far less wind resistance so will not lift your roof in high winds. You can see Monkey Toe walkways here and Condenser mounts here.

 

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Snow guards and leaf guards

Your gutters are your first defence when it comes to heavy downpours. If these become blocked with leaves or snow, your gutters can potentially overflow and leak into your building.

If snow melts and then refreezes, it can crack pipes as it expands in the freezing process. This can be avoided by having raised snow guards that allow the snow to melt away underneath.

See our snow guards here.

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