Spring Thawing – Snow/Ice Build-Up on Roofs

A record-breaking snowfall for Minnesota in the month of February is no small deal! At this time of year, and the weather we have been having, is cause to pay attention to impacts to buildings and roofs. With more wet snow on the way, over the next few weeks, we urge you to take action now. Here are a few of the main maintenance tips we would like to share with you.


Experts say that more than a foot of packed snow can cause damage to your roof and increase the risk of it collapsing. Snow drifting from the recent snowfalls and blowing snow may cause issues at hi/low building walls and roof parapets. Inspecting these areas for excessive snow amounts are key to avoiding water damming and potential roof and wall leaks due to thawing snow that usually occurs under these large drifts. Inspecting these areas can usually be done from the ground, or other flat fairly safe spot.


Have you noticed icicles hanging from your gutters? This is usually a sign of ice dams. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your downspouts. Remove ice dams right away to avoid future costly repairs. Downspouts (particularly on the North sides of buildings) may experience freezing / ice due to thawing on roof and the fact that the water freezes as it descends the cooler (shaded) downspout on the building. Interior piped roof drains can experience the same issue. Heat tape / heat coils and/or salt blocks can help this situation.


Downspouts and roof drains can become plugged – due to freeze/thaw cycles or debris. Remove debris from your downspouts. Having clear roof drains will allow moving water to stay off your roof, which will reduce the possibility of damage occurring. Culverts and underground piping can also experience freeze up in the spring / fall periods. If this happens – typically it is best to steam the pipes open.

free snowNEXT STEPS:

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team regarding this or any other question you may have about your building. We will help you in any way we can. Our main office number is (952) 469-2171, or click on the following links to contact our team via email:


For more information on building maintenance, please request our Commercial Building Maintenance Checklist here:


 Image sources: “Icicles” via State Farm on flickr and “Free snow” via Teresa Boardman on flickr .

The worst advice ever about Commercial Building Maintenance

Commercial Building Maintenance – Avoiding nightmares and mistakes


Owning your own property is a proud milestone for any business owner. Maintaining a building can feel overwhelming. When it comes to commercial building maintenance, knowing what to worry about, and when, will help you to protect your investment from decay due to lack of upkeep. Routine maintenance can also help reduce overhead costs, such as electrical and HVAC expenses.

How can you prevent your building from becoming a scary place in the neighborhood???  By planning ahead for routine building maintenance!

Preventative and routine maintenance should be tasks that are incorporated into a regular, recurring plan. Such items can be performed by several independent companies, or provided by one company that specializes in “property maintenance”. Bundling the services is more convenient, but make sure it is clearly stated what services are provided and ask specific questions, such as:

Will there be on-going inspections with feedback of any additional care needed, such as a broken window, water stains, leaky irrigation pipe, etc.?

Will there be any annual inspections to specifically address areas covered, or not, by the maintenance agreement, such as inspecting the smoke detectors?

snow_removal_-_salted_sidewalks.jpgIn the Midwest and Northeast, discuss the amount of de-icer to be used on your sidewalks… Your insurance agent and attorney will tell you to “pile it on”, but your concrete company will tell you “use it SPARSELY”. Discuss the amount of de-icer used with whoever is providing your snow removal. You may find that companies often over apply the product so they don’t receive a call to return and add more. Finding a balance is often hard – you may ask the snow removal company to “lightly salt the walks” and then place a container of de-icer by each door so that you can apply more as needed. Magnesium chloride has become popular as it melts ice below zero and is less damaging to sidewalks (bonus, it’s plant and pet safe!), and seems to work best at very cold temperatures. Also, consider using sand to give traction to the ice, especially on cold days when melting just won’t happen.

In areas that rely on salt to remove ice, pay special attention to the integrity of your sidewalks in the spring. Watch for lifting, chipping, pitting and separating, which may indicate the need for caulking, repair, or replacement.

Preventative and Routine maintenance includes:

  • Janitorial Services
  • Window Cleaning & repair
  • Parking Lot & Sidewalk maintenance
  • Landscaping
  • Snow Removal
  • Floor Care
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Pest control


Additional areas of maintenance that building owners don’t always consider, include:

  • Painting & Sealing (interior & exterior)
  • Tuck pointing & caulking
  • Foundation repairs
  • Roof maintenance/vapor barrier
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Drainage control & Erosion repair
  • Storm damage
  • Emergency repairs

If you hire a property maintenance company to handle recurring items, make sure you don’t overlook the items you don’t have a maintenance contract for. Any of the above that are neglected can slowly lead to a BIG problem, for example:

Concrete blocks require a sealant or paint to prevent moisture from leaking from the outside. As blocks weather, sealants and paint begin to wear thin and become less effective. Moisture from rain, snow or humidity can enter the blocks and expand when temperatures become hot, or below freezing. As the blocks expand and contract, the integrity is compromised and eventually the blocks will begin to crack, chip or slough off. When this occurs you are now allowing for even more moisture to enter and for the process to accelerate. It’s not uncommon to find a random weed growing from the blocks of a building that has been neglected! 

Additionally, moisture can leak into the building causing water damage and/or structural issues. A good coat of paint applied before an issue is noticed is your best line of defense, along with having gutters that function properly.

The worst advice ever about Commercial Building Maintenance is the advice you are NOT given; Plan ahead, and budget for routine and unexpected building maintenance and emergencies!

 Download our complete suggested maintenance list here:


 Additional Resources:

Buildings.com provides their own detailed list of suggested maintenance and inspections.


Image sources: Scary building by L.C. Nøttaasen, via Creative Commons license;  Winter sidewalk de-icing by BU Interactive News, under Creative Commons license; and Commercial Box Gutter – via wikipedia

How To Maintain Your Building’s Roof


Roofing is at the top of most property owners’ and property managers’ lists of items to keep well maintained. And, rightly so, as this building feature can be one of the single highest replacement costs in building maintenance. Upon review of a recent article regarding roof maintenance, we summarized the key points of the article.

Of this list of six roof maintenance tips, we have included four of the following:

  • Stay involved – from the get-go
  • Quality roofing – a good system makes all the difference
  • Roof design matters – know all the factors
  • Inspections – are you doing the minimum?


In this article, “Six tips to extend your roof’s life” we chose to highlight four key aspects of the article.

The first is “Stay involved” and what that means is that as a building owner, you want to make sure that you do your homework. Work with your trusted and hired professionals, but also make sure that you are knowledgeable about your options.

Second, is to choose “quality roofing” as a good system makes all the difference in maintenance down the road. When you are working with our team at APPRO, we have a handful of trusted roofing subcontractors who are knowledgeable and professional and understand the best options for your building type.

Third, make sure that your roof is properly designed. You want to work with your design team to consider: slope, drainage, penetrations, flashing, walkways, and (if membrane) membrane thickness.

Fourth, you MUST conduct regular building inspections. Did you know that a minimum of two times a year is the recommended average frequency to inspect your building’s roof? 


To read the full article with all six tips, you may click on the following LINK.


Our team wants you to enjoy the buildings you build with us for a very long time. Maintenance is one factor that helps make that possible. Be sure to inspect your roof regularly. If building new, ask our team about your options. And, if you would like a recommendation of a reputable, qualified roofing contractor, please be sure to contact our team – we would be happy to help!



 Interested in more  information on maintaining your commercial or industrial building? Here are some recent articles…

Suggested Maintenance Checklist

Commercial Building Maintenance: Roofing 

Cool Roofs…For Minnesota’s Climate


Commercial Building – Suggested Maintenance Checklist

Commercial Building – Suggested Building Maintenance List

Commercial Building Maintenance - Lakeville Driveway Project 09122013 (1)Commercial building ownership comes with a long list of maintenance items to keep your building in the best possible condition. We understand you are proud of your investment. So, the team at APPRO Development created a “Suggested Maintenance / Service Letter.” We provide this letter to each of our building owners upon the completion of the construction of their building, addition or expansion project. We hope this will serve as a starting point to keep new buildings in optimum condition.

You may see the checklist by going to our “Resources Page” or clicking on the link HERE (the Building Maintenance Form can be found under “Resources for Building Owners”).

You have made a significant investment in the construction of your building, addition, or expansion project. We want to make sure you keep it the best it can be.

If you have found you need assistance with your building maintenance, feel free to give our team a call. Our expert project managers will walk you through a possible solution. If necessary, we would be happy to refer you to a trusted resource to continue the conversation – we work with only the best subcontractors in the commercial building industry. We are easily reached online, in person, or by phone.