Suggestions on what to look for to help prevent roof issues caused from the heavy snows received in Minnesota

Minnesota has received an unusual amount of snow so far this year. The weight of this snow can overload your roof deck and create problems not found in a typical winter. Be aware of high/low building walls (roofs adjacent to higher walls) and perimeter roof parapets. Snow can drift in these areas creating pockets where snow can melt under the visible snow drift and on top of the roof causing trapped water to dam up. This creates a potential for roof leaks as there will be standing water (or ice) on the roof.

Snow drifted over rooftop units will eventually cause a roof leak when the snow begins to melt and drip into the unit and down thru the ductwork.

Some other common issues include downspouts and roof drain pipes freezing up. This occurs as melted snow water descends down to a cooler downspout or roof drain and refreezes. Salt blocks or heat trace tape can help with this condition.

Other things to look for around your building include maintaining access to fire hydrants, keeping heating unit exhaust ducts open, clearing out gas meter relief valves (if your meter is equipped), and maintaining exit door landings (look for those seldom used doors).

Note, commercial building roofs are designed to a certain criteria for snow loads as dictated by the building code. There are cases where this amount is exceeded due to drifting or accumulating snow. If inordinate amounts of snow exist on your roof in certain areas the design loads may be exceeded.

If you or someone with in your company goes up on the roof to shovel, keep in mind that it may be very slippery. If you go alone let someone know that you will be on the roof and let them know when you have returned. If you do not feel comfortable on the roof many roofing companies provide a snow removal service. If you would like help in contacting one of these roofing companies please contact APPRO Development at 952-469-2171 and talk to Nate, Gordy, Jim or Jack.