Tips For New Facilities Managers To Prepare Roofing For Winter

If this is your first winter as the facilities manager for a commercial building, you may not know how best to manage the snow weight and the effects of the winter weather on the building's roof. Don't risk serious roof damage by neglecting the roof throughout the harsh winter months. Here are some tips to help you prepare and get the building safely through the snow season.

Have An Emergency Plan

In the winter of 2010, almost 400 buildings in the northeastern region of the United States suffered partial or full roof collapse due to snow. Since even the best preparations can't always prevent a snow-related roof collapse, you need to have an emergency plan in place before the winter season starts. Make sure that you know which building keyholders will be called in the event of a problem, and then clearly explain to them what their role will be. You'll need someone to respond with the emergency crews, someone to call the roofing contractor, and someone to reach out to employees if the building is closed.

Schedule A Pre-Season Inspection

If you take on the role before the winter season begins, you should take the time to schedule a pre-season roof inspection to identify any potential vulnerabilities. This is the time to treat any areas that may be at risk of weather damage or leaks, because failing to deal with those problems can lead to further damage as a result of the snow. While you're at it, you'll want to make sure that the drains are clear so that there's no debris clogging things when the snow melts and the water flows.

Plan For Regular Snow Removal  

Before the first storm of the season, take time to find a snow removal company that offers seasonal contract services. That way, you can be confident that the roof will be cleared after every storm. This reduces the risk of any excess weight accumulating, minimizing the chances of a roof collapse or other problems.

Consider Roof Weight Sensor Installation

If you don't want to have a snow removal company clear the roof after every storm, you can monitor the roof's condition in real-time with the installation of sensors that will trigger an alarm when the weight load on the roof approaches unsafe levels. Your roofing contractor can install these sensors for you, configuring the alert based on the weight capacity of your building's roof and structural integrity. When the alarms go off, you'll know that it's time to call a snow removal company to come out and clear the snow away.

Monitor The Roof All Season

While the pre-season inspection is helpful for spotting problems that exist before the winter weather arrives, it does nothing for catching problems that develop over the course of the season. That means you'll need to be attentive to monitoring the roof's condition after every storm. Have a roofing contractor come out and evaluate the roof after every major snowstorm. If possible, coordinate this with your snow removal service so that the inspection happens right after the snow has been cleared. That way, if there's any damage that occurs due to the weight of the falling snow or the ice melt, you can address them before the next storm comes in.

There's no reason for your first winter as a facilities manager to be a stressful one. With these tips, you can be confident that no matter what the season brings, your company's building will be ready to weather the storm. Talk with your local roofing contractor today about ensuring that your building is prepared as soon as possible. You can find a roofing company by visiting a site like