Ice Dam Removal Flat Roof

Everything Michigan

Ice Dam Removal Flat Roof

December 1, 2023 Blog Business Property Management 0
Ice Dam Flat Roof

When large commercial buildings have flat roofs, there is a significant concern when it comes to harsh winter weather. Especially melting snow, as it can turn into an ice dam. Ice dams have the potential to cause major destruction to not only the roof but also the building if the dam breaks and leaks inside, then disaster restoration is probably in order.

If water or flood damage has occurred in the building, a disaster restoration partner that can respond quickly and efficiently is crucial in preventing additional damage and mitigating the many health risks associated with mold and other organisms that can begin growing shortly thereafter.

The water that backs up behind an ice dam can leak into the building and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Additionally, when the roof doesn’t drain properly, snow, ice, and water remain trapped on the roof, adding loads that put your roof at greater risk of collapse.

  • Commercial roof maintenance during the winter months
  • Regular snow and ice removal
  • Beware of ice dams on commercial roof
  • Monitor freezing and melting cycles
  • Keep drainage systems clear
  • Make sure all vents and chimney pipes are clear of snow or ice
  • Leave winter commercial roof maintenance to the professionals

In light of recent cold fronts across Michigan and the Great Lakes region, experts warn property owners to prepare their roofs for the winter or face disastrous ice damns or, worse, a roof collapse unprotected, with no “plan B.” Experts advise property owners to start with the following actions:

  1. Contact the insurance company immediately — the insured is responsible for filing property insurance claims.
  2. Request a full copy of policy and ask the agent how much ice storm coverage it contains. Some other specific coverages which might provide relief are found under the collapse endorsement.
  3. Keep track of and note all communications between you and the insurance company, as well as any receipts related to loss.
  4. Get organized: document damage through pictures and video. Track down receipts for any temporary/emergency repairs to damaged exterior features such as roofs, doors, and windows.
  5. Create an inventory of all items lost or damaged in the ice storm
  6. Be sure to check everything that could have been dented or broken by the ice, including security cameras, gutters, siding, HVAC units and landscaping (shrubs, flowers, plants, garden), outdoor equipment, roofing (shingles, skylights), stairs/steps, and windows.
  7. Have a detailed, itemized damage estimate prepared by a professional to submit to your insurance company. Do not rely solely on their estimates.

Do flat roofs leak when snow melts?

Flat roofs are susceptible to collecting debris such as leaves and twigs. These can get blown into and block your drains, preventing them from efficiently eliminating water. This can result in leaks appearing when melted snow has nowhere to go.

In addition to debris blocking drains, flat roofs can also experience leaks when snow melts due to the formation of ice dams. When melted snow refreezes at the edges of the roof, it obstructs proper drainage. As a result, water accumulates and seeps into the building through any vulnerable areas, such as cracks or damaged flashing.

The weight of accumulated snow and ice on a flat roof can also contribute to leaks. Excessive loads from heavy snowfall can cause stress on the structure, causing weak points in the roofing material or seams to develop leaks.

Moreover, temperature fluctuations during winter play a significant role in roof leaks. The continuous freezing and thawing cycle can lead to the expansion and contraction of roofing materials, which may eventually compromise their integrity. This repeated movement stresses seals and joints, increasing their vulnerability to leakage.

Regular maintenance is crucial throughout winter months to prevent these issues caused by melting snow on flat roofs. Clearing debris from drains should be done routinely to ensure efficient water flow off the roof’s surface. Checking for signs of damage, such as cracks or deterioration in sealants, will help identify potential leak sources early on so they can be addressed promptly.

Hiring the pros for regular inspection and maintenance is highly recommended for commercial properties with flat roofs during winter seasons. Experienced technicians have specialized knowledge regarding potential problem areas specific to this type of roofing system and are equipped with appropriate tools for efficiently removing ice dams should they form.

What to do if a building collapses

Hopefully, no one will be in the building if this unfortunate incident happens. If you are inside during the collapse, immediately call 911. Next, consider the safety of anyone who might still be in the building. Make certain to ensure all people who were potentially inside at the time of the collapse are safe and out. Finally, if there are any injured people, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

That being said, if your building has collapsed, and the proper authorities have been contacted, then consider the following list a set of must-have suggestions when beginning to pick up the pieces (literally):

  • Call the fire department for an inspection
  • Call your insurance company
  • Call a third-party adjuster (a public adjuster) to ensure you receive the best settlement possible under your property insurance policy
  • Assess the damage and contact a reputable contractor for an estimate
  • Document any evidence and contact a lawyer or attorney who specializes in property damage cases

Once the fire department has concluded its inspection and the insurance company has been contacted, it’s time to take a step back and focus on the future – to think about the people who have been affected by the collapse, as well as the safety of those who are now involved in the process.

The next step is to assess the damage caused by the collapse. People should take pictures of the area, document any damages they can, and contact their insurance company to discuss the next steps. It is essential to consider any items that may have been damaged or destroyed in the collapse, as well as any debris that may need to be removed.

The most critical factor to consider is the stability of the structure. It is worth assessing the structural integrity with an engineer or a general contractor if it’s not entirely collapsed. It is also essential to consider the potential for further collapse and the potential for injury to anyone in the area.

Next, consider the legal ramifications of the collapse. Contact a lawyer or an attorney who specializes in property damage cases to discuss any potential claims that may be made against the responsible party. Documenting any evidence that may be relevant to the case is also key.

Finally, consider the emotional impact of the collapse. It is crucial to reach out to employees and their families for support and seek professional mental health help if needed. Consider the potential for future events, as well as the potential for post-traumatic stress.

Ice dam removal flat roof

In conclusion, proper maintenance and timely action are crucial in preventing ice dams, leaks, and potential roof collapses during winter months. Seeking professional help and promptly addressing damage is essential for the safety and recovery of the building and its occupants.