FAQs About Winter Weather and Metal Roofing
Metal roofs perform well at all times of year, even in winter when snow and ice can add weight to the roof. However, some metal roofs may need extra maintenance. Knowing how to clean your metal roof, when to remove snow, and signs of too much snow on the roof and other problems can help you keep your commercial roof in good condition. This FAQ can help.
Will Snow Accumulate on a Metal Roof?
Weight from most heavy snows will not damage your metal roof. Metal roofs are slippery, which means that snow will run down the roof throughout the winter. Although some accumulation may occur, it will not last long. This is one of the benefits of metal roofing. If the roof isn’t properly cleaned or maintained, however, snow may accumulate in some areas.
If Snow Accumulation Occurs, Is That a Problem?
Buildings are constructed to withstand heavy snows in the state of Minnesota. However, if a heavy snow does build up on your metal roof, it may need to be removed, especially if your building has structural damage from problems like wood-eating pests or a leak.
Generally, only the heaviest snows are problematic. Often, problems occur when a lot of wet snow accumulates at once. Watch the weather reports. News often will mention when roofs in the area are collapsing. If your metal roof is accumulating a lot of snow, roofs in the area are failing, and your roof has been recently damaged but not repaired, this could be a problem.
How Can You Tell If Snow Needs to Be Removed?
If your roof is in distress, you may hear a groaning or creaking noise. The ceiling may sag, or ceiling tiles may pop off. Cracked walls or jammed doors and windows are also a sign that your roof is in distress. If this happens, contact a roofer for emergency evaluation of your building.
How Should Snow Be Removed?
Snow removal can be dangerous. Light amounts can be removed with a snow rake, if you can reach your roof from the ground. If the snow accumulation is heavy or if the roof cannot be reached from the ground, talk to a roofing contractor to have the snow removed for you.
Roofers have ways of safely removing snow. They have special safety equipment and can remove snow without causing potential damage to your building, people around your building, or themselves.
Will Snow Falling From Your Building’s Roof Harm People?
Snow that slides off of your metal roof onto the ground could potentially cause harm if it all slides off in a large clump. Watch for dangerous accumulations of snow and keep people away from parts of your roof where snow could potentially fall on someone. In the event that snow does fall off the roof, someone could become trapped inside.
You can prevent this from happening by installing a guard-rail device, called a snow guard, near the edge of your metal roof. Snow guards prevent snow from falling off the roof in a large clump, but allow snow to melt off your roof gradually.
Some businesses take this a step further and install heating devices like heating cables to melt the snow quickly and efficiently. Your roofer can help you decide which device is right for your roof.
Keep your gutters clear throughout the winter to ensure that melting snow can drain properly. Failure to keep your gutters clean can lead to ice accumulation around the edges of your roof, which can cause dangerous icicles to form.
Who Can Install a Snow Guard on Your Metal Roof?
Have a snow guard installed by a professional roofer. Do not DIY your commercial roofing or have a preferred handyman install the snow guards for you. Roofing can be easily damaged by people who are not specially trained to work with the tools and materials.
If you want to have a snow guard installed on your metal roof, schedule a consultation with a trusted roofing professional. Your roofing contractor can recommend specific products and help you decide which products are best for your budget.
Are Metal Roofs at Risk for Rusting in Winter?
Metal roofs should not rust in winter. Sometimes, if two different types of metal touch one another, corrosion can be the result. This can cause rusting. The best way to avoid this problem is to have your metal roof installed by a professional contractor.
Any repairs done to your roof should also be handled by a professional. A good roofing contractor will know which types of metal screws should not be used on your roof and other factors.
Who Can I Contact for Help?
If you are concerned about your metal roof this winter, work with a roofing professional. At Berwald Roofing & Sheet Metal, we help business owners like you maintain their metal roofs all year round. Contact us to make an appointment for a consultation or a roofing inspection.