In the regions of Traverse City, Charlevoix, Petoskey and Cadillac, snowfall is plentiful and temperatures are frigid–causing a pileup of snow and ice on many flat roof surfaces.

If you’re looking up and seeing white, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering whether or not to call a professional to properly remove snow to avoid costly damage. With the ongoing staff shortages, many clients are counting on Springfield this winter to safely and properly remove snow pileup to avoid additional stress on reduced staff.

Risks to Snow Pile Up

When there are only a couple of inches of snow accumulation, it’s best to leave it since improper snow removal can result in damage to the roofing membranes. But, when the snow is accumulating to several feet, it’s important to consider the potential risks, such as:

  • Blocked access to building systems and features, including HVAC equipment and plumbing vents.
  • Risk of snow and ice falling off onto people or property, resulting in injuries or costly damage.
  • Heavy amounts of snow melting and posing a risk to the drainage system. As ice expands when it freezes, it may damage the external drainage system.
  • Too much weight on your building’s structure. Average snow may weigh 15 pounds per cubic foot and drifted compacted snow may weigh 30 pounds or more.
  • Damage to old roof membranes thanks to the freeze and thaw cycle, resulting in water working it’s way into cracks and vulnerabilities in old roof membranes that may be near the end of their useful lives.

Warning Signs of Structural Stress

While there are many undesirable risks to your building’s flat roof caused by too much snow, most people are understandably most worried about maintaining the integrity of the property and the risk of roof collapse. Here are the warning signs:

  • Ceiling problems: A ceiling that appears to sag, or sprinkler lines and sprinkler heads that look lower than normal.
  • Unusual noises: Creaking, popping and cracking can be a sign of a stressed roof.
  • Roof member problems: Any portion of a roof or roof truss which sags is a cause for concern.
  • Drainage problems: Unusual collections of water on the flat roof may be a sign this area has sunken.
  • Door and window problems: If a door or window can no longer be opened or closed it may be a sign the roof or walls have shifted under the weight of snow.
  • Wall problems: Drywall, masonry and other wall materials may crack under pressure from an overloaded roof.

Safe, Professional Snow Removal

If you’re worried about the impact of snow on your roof this winter, give us a call to schedule an appointment and let our experienced snow removal teams protect your property.

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