Snow Removal on Commercial Roofs: Importance and Best Practices

May 09th, 2023

Snow removal on commercial roofs is an essential task during the winter months. Excessive snow accumulation can pose significant risks to the roof structure, as well as to the safety of people and the operation of businesses. Below, we will explore the importance of snow removal on your commercial roof and share best practices to ensure a safe and functional environment.

Why is snow removal important?

Cool Roof Technology refers to roofing systems and materials that have high solar reflectance (the ability to reflect solar radiation) and high thermal emissivity (the ability to emit heat). Unlike traditional roofs that absorb a significant amount of solar heat, cool roofs reflect solar radiation, significantly reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This helps maintain a lower internal temperature, reducing the need for air conditioning and, consequently, energy consumption.

Benefits of Cool Roof Technology

The accumulation of snow on commercial roofs represents additional weight that can overload the structure. The excessive weight can cause structural damage, such as roof collapse, especially in cases of wet or icy snow. Additionally, snow can block drainage systems, resulting in water leaks into the building.

Proper snow removal is also essential to ensure the safety of individuals. The falling of snow sheets or the formation of ice on the roof edges can pose significant risks to occupants and pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Best practices for snow removal on commercial roofs

It is important to follow some best practices when performing snow removal on commercial roofs. Firstly, prioritizing safety is essential. Ensure that the professionals involved are equipped with appropriate safety devices, such as safety belts and anti-slip equipment.

Next, it is recommended to use the appropriate tools for snow removal, such as plastic or metal snow shovels, soft-bristle brooms, and scrapers. Avoid using sharp or metallic objects that may damage the roof surface.

It is also important to exercise caution when removing snow to avoid damaging gutters, flashing, and other adjacent structures. When clearing the roof, start with the areas of highest snow accumulation, working from top to bottom, to prevent snow from falling onto already cleared areas.

Hiring specialized professionals

In the case of large commercial roofs or when snow removal is complex, it is highly recommended to hire specialized professionals for snow removal. These professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle different types of roofs and snow removal situations.

Additionally, specialized professionals have access to specific equipment and tools for snow removal, ensuring a safer and more effective job. They can also perform additional inspections to identify structural damages or potential issues that may arise due to snow accumulation.

Preventive measures to avoid excessive snow accumulation

In addition to snow removal, the adoption of preventive measures can help prevent excessive snow accumulation on commercial roofs. Some strategies include installing roof heating systems to melt snow, using roof materials with high resistance to snow accumulation, and designing the roof appropriately to allow efficient snow runoff.

Another important measure is regular roof maintenance. Conducting periodic inspections, especially before the winter season, allows for the identification of potential issues such as loose or damaged tiles that can facilitate snow accumulation.

Snow removal on commercial roofs is a crucial activity to ensure the safety of people, protect the roof structure, and maintain normal business operations during the winter months. Prioritizing safety and proper maintenance of your commercial roof are essential to ensure a safe and functional environment for your employees throughout the year.

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