Checklist: Winterizing Your Roof

With winter weather on the horizon, now is a good time to follow this checklist to winterize your roof. Learn the preventative measures to protect your roof.

Winter weather is on the way. We’ve already seen some previews of it with small fronts. But the real weather is yet to come with larger snow and ice storms. When a roof is well maintained, a northeastern storm can’t harm a building. But without proper maintenance, ice dams, faulty flashing or gaps in roofing no matter how small can become big problems.

Commercial Roof Winterizing Checklist
Learn how to care for your commercial building with a solid plan for protecting your roof and preventing damage this winter. Here’s your checklist.

  1. Clean the Roof
    Keeping the roof clean from debris can prevent the breakdown of materials and help ensure even a small storm doesn’t leave your roof damaged. By removing debris, you can ensure that the roof can drain properly and that mold and moss cannot grow.

As you work to assess the well-being of your roof, consider following these guidelines as you clean your roof.

  • Remove any bird nests, so long as they are not protected under local or state laws
  • Remove leaves, nuts or fruits that have dropped on your roof
  • Trim trees near your roof to prevent branches or limbs from hitting your roof during a storm or when weighed down with snow or ice
  • Check drainage to ensure there is no ponding or slow drains

As you engage in these activities, be sure to keep a close eye out for potential roof damage. This might be in the form of roofing membrane tears. Now is the time to complete minor repairs to the membrane to prevent further damage.

  1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
    While your gutters and downspouts are not part of your roof, they play a crucial role in keeping your roof in good shape because they move water away from the roof. While you might think of this as a spring activity due to heavy rains, it’s just as important that your gutters and downspouts be clear during winter to handle snow and ice melt-off.

And because winter follows fall, it’s easy for these crucial areas of your building to become clogged with leaves and other tree debris that is a normal part of the autumn season.

Your roof maintenance team can assist with this activity to ensure it is done fully and thoroughly to protect your roof.

  1. Look for Animal Damage
    Animal infestations can greatly harm your roof. You might not see it initially, but as you get close to your roofing materials to clean things up, look for animal signs.

Pests can make your roof their home, especially as they look for a warmer spot to hole up for the winter. Removing debris they’ve used to make their home will deter them from returning. Clean up food scraps, nests and droppings to prevent infestations that could cause damage.

  1. Check Seals and Caulking
    Seals don’t last forever and neither does caulking, no matter how high the quality of it might be. Before winter, seal up any gaps or holes using caulking or a sealant. Check for loose or missing pieces of roofing and call a professional if you find anything out of place.
  2. Make a Snow Removal Plan
    The northeast can throw some pretty wild weather our way. That means not just a few inches of snow, but some winters more than a foot at once. All that snow becomes heavy and can wear down a roof. And in our area, that snow can come down in a matter of hours.

Sometimes, commercial building owners make a hasty plan to remove such heavy snowfalls from their roofs without proper expertise. This leads to torn membranes that cause even bigger issues than the sheer weight of the snow.

Work with a professional to make a snow removal plan for heavy storms. Watch the weather and get in touch with your roofing contractor if you have concerns about forecasted snowfall.

  1. Keep an Eye Out for Ice Dams
    One of the most common reasons for roofing damage during the winter months is ice damming. When rainwater builds up, it needs a way to move swiftly away from the building before it can freeze.

Ice dams can come out of nowhere, but with proper preventative maintenance, ice dams are rare.

  1. Schedule Roof Inspections and Maintenance
    Roofing and roof maintenance are dangerous jobs and require proper safety gear. Protect your team by having a professional roofer complete regular inspections and maintenance. Fall and early winter are the best times of year for these inspections to help prepare for the challenging weather that is to come.

Domack Restoration has more than 40 years of experience in commercial roofing and restoration. Book your preventative roof maintenance program now to protect your roof year-round.