Whether you are facing wind, rain or snow it is always important to have a plan in place and make sure that your building’s roof is prepared for extreme weather. Successfully handling the problems that may arise due to severe weather take preparation, emergency response and damage assessment. These steps will help you prepare and handle any situation that may rise due to extreme conditions.

Plan for the Worst Possible Outcome

We know this does not sound very optimistic, but when you prepare for the ‘what-if’s‘ it sets up a system that can be put into place should the worst possible outcome occur. The first place you want to examine in this step is the condition of your roof. A good evaluation of the roof can come from a skilled, in-house employee or an outside roofing company. The best way to prepare is to maintain. You want to look for obvious signs of defect and wear and tear.
Look closely at penetrations, flashings and joints. Verify that drains and screens are clear and functional. These are all areas that are especially vulnerable during winter weather because they pose the threat of moisture infiltration and offer an entry point for air.
By doing these inspections of your building’s roof, it may reveal that the in-house maintenance is not fully prepared for a roofing emergency. If this is the case, you want to make sure that

a plan is created with instructions on what to do in the event of an emergency. It is also important to make sure you are up-to-date on what the manufacturer’s warranties cover in the event of an emergency or damages.

Quick Response Time 

After a snowstorm it is important to remove the snow in a timely manner. This will prevent clogging of any drains or melting and leaking into the assembly. Even extreme cold without any precipitation can cause a threat. If a roof gets extremely cold and the cold period stretches over several months, it can get to the point of contracting and eventually cracking. When the cold weather dissipates and rain moves in, those cracks will fill with water and the roof is likely to split open. Reacting to small problems more often will help you to avoid dealing with bigger, more costly problems down the road.

Assess and Repair the Damage in a Timely Manner

After a storm, many areas of the roof system could be damaged or at least affected in some way. These areas might include the thermal performance, fire resistance, load and equipment carrying capacity, ability to drain and store water properly and the aesthetics of the roof. You want to make sure to assess the damage. Is the damage greater than the intensity of the storm? Should the roof have performed better in the storm? Is it likely that some of the damage is in part to an ongoing problem like poor drainage or inadequate ventilation and the storm simply made the condition worse? By assessing these questions it will help you when dealing warranty and insurance claims.

A building’s roof endures a brutal impact from the elements on a daily basis. It is important that you do not neglect it. It may seem like it is out of sight, out of mind but when it fails it can be very expensive to repair. You can avoid this by doing your due diligence in preparation, response and assessment. Be proactive with your roof and maintenance, understand the weather conditions in your area, and what kind of weather  you can expect.