Snow on a Flat Roof – Call in the Professionals
If you have a flat roof, either on residential or on commercial premises, you’re probably worrying about the effects of the recent storms, especially the snow. While we don’t suffer from snow here in the UK on a regular basis, every so often, a winter comes along featuring the type of snow that brings the UK to a grinding halt, and this recent spate of bad weather really has been cause for concern. Just take a look at the damage that snow can cause to flat roofs:
- Ponding/Bowing – when snow accumulates on a flat roof, it puts unnecessary weight on the structure. The downward bearing pressure of the extra weight can cause the roof to bow, resulting in ponding under the roof structure. Ponding water will affect the integrity of the roofing materials and lead to the following problems:
- Freeze-Thaw – when the snow melts on the flat roof ti will form a puddle which may freeze again and expand. Any water that has seeped into the cracks and crevices on the roof will cause further damage as the water expands and contracts as it continues to freexe and thaw.
- Leaks – ponding snow melt may find its way into the building and cause further damage, even roof collapse in some cases.
If you have a build up of snow on your flat roof right now, you may be tempted to remove it straight away to prevent the damage. However, venturing onto a flat roof, especially one that bears the extra weight of the snow is a dangerous option and should be avoided. You could slip on the icy surface and fall off the roof or you could even fall through the roof if the integrity of the roof’s load-bearing capacity has been undermined by the weight of the snow. We know that snow is light and fluffy, but vast quantities of it are heavy enough to compromise a flat roof.
It’s often the case that removing the snow could cause further damage to the roof, which is likely to be quite brittle during the cold weather. You may break vents or skylights and the roof membrane itself could get punctured, even if you’re using a plastic snow shovel. This will just result in a costly repair job in the future. The most convenient and cost-effective method of minimising the snow damage on a flat roof right now would be to call in the professionals to do the job.
A competent roofing company will have the knowledge and experience necessary to clear the snow from your flat roof without causing any damage. They will have the correct access and safety equipment and the right tools to get the job done properly to prevent any further damage. They will also have the appropriate public liability insurance that will cover both them and you so that you can get your flat roof cleared of the snow without taking any further risks.