Preparing & Winterizing Commercial Buildings

Winter Roofing Tips & Tricks

You wouldn’t put a camper away for the long winter without winterizing it, would you? Similarly, your commercial building should be inspected and winterized each and every year. Just like the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter will have different effects on your roof. Knowing what to do is imperative to the health and safety of your roof. 

Fall Roof Inspections

Roof Inspections should be done twice a year. Once in the Spring, and once in the Fall. Fall roof inspections are an important step in winterizing your building. A roof inspection will show you exactly what your roof needs in order to make it through the long winter. Issues can arise if your roof already has damage. Loose roofing, splitting 

EPDM, cracks, missing vents, clogged gutters; just some of the issues that could appear which could ensure damage. 

Piling snow, daily freeze and thaw, water, snow and ice loads, ice dams; Winter can really take a toll on your roof. With the constant change, small defects become a bigger issue. Take the time to get a Fall roof inspection and save yourself from the headache and costly expense.

Cold Temperature Risks

Cold temperatures cause existing failures to become a big issue in the winter. The biggest of these risks for early roof failures extends from neglecting to repair the deficiencies in your roof. The leading cause of leaks comes from splits in the membrane, seams pulling apart, ridges, blisters from expansion in the hot and cold, and others. Cold temperatures cause these small issues to expand and create bigger issues down the road. A professional opinion is to spend a little money now to fix these issues instead of having to spend a lot of money down the road.

Freeze and thaw cycles are a huge risk when it comes to cold temperatures. Small cracks will eventually grow bigger. Water can penetrate insulation and cause expansion which will warp your roof. It is important that these issues are addressed before the bitter cold hits. 

Protecting With Roof Coatings

Single-ply membrane roofing is notorious for issues when it is nearing the end of its lifecycle. Membranes become brittle which makes them crack and split. Patches come apart over time due to the constant expansion and contraction from the weather. You may be ok through winter, but you may regret it if a bigger failure occurs.


Applying a roof coating can extend the life of your roof and save you money over time. The coating can protect not only in the winter, but also in the heat of the summer. It is important to make sure your roofing material qualifies for a roof coating. If it does, this can be a cost saving way to protect your roof.

Roof coatings should not be taken lightly or installed by just anyone. Hiring the right contractor for the job is important as they will be able to fix any underlying issues before the coating. To name a few; wet insulation, loose patches, mold, loose flushing and seams, and more. The right professional will fix all these problems as well as coat your roof with the right materials, thickness, and application technique.

What is Your Plan for Winter?

Having a plan for roof maintenance and snow removal is an important final step for winter. Excessive amounts of snow on your roof is a hazard in many cases. Depending on the amount of snow and ice, you may need to have it removed before disaster strikes. Worst case scenario the roof will collapse and cause damage to anything inside or can injure or even kill anyone inside. 

Leave snow removal to the pros. They are well equipped to gauge the amount of snow, the weight per cubic foot and what your roof can handle. You will be glad to spend the money for snow removal if it means less money in the future and possible harm to you or your employees. 

Final Thoughts

Take the time to research different types of roofing and how they can be repaired for winter. Cold, snow, and ice are all issues for a roof especially in extreme cases. Create a plan, implement that plan yearly, and protect yourselves against the long winter months ahead.

About ORB

Starting in 2018, ORB Solutions is a technology agency by contractors, for contractors. We strive to grow small businesses in the trades and the service industry with trust and legitimacy. In our blog, we share what we know about building an online presence, getting reviews, presenting your brand professionally, and more!

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