Weather Alerts, Building Issues, & Roof Drainage

Posted May 6th, 2017

There has been an unprecedented amount of rainfall this spring with more predicted to come.  All of us are receiving weather emergency alerts from Environment Canada, weather channels, newscasters and even insurance companies are sending out warnings. Unfortunately most people do not think about roofs until they are in the middle of a threatening situation. At this point roofing contractors are saturated with new work, call-backs and warranty circumstances. It is particularly difficult as often roofers are also in the middle of construction projects which have not had their water-proofing completed and checked off. These contractors can not realistically offer a waterproof guarantee during construction phases--there are too many unforeseen circumstances. It is advisable during this timeframe, for building occupants to mitigate any potential problem on the inside of their facilities by tarping off any areas of vulnerability such as equipment, inventory, or storage.

Building owners, facility managers and physical plant workers can generally help alleviate potential problems by following some recommended preparedness practices. Maintenance should be part of every owner's check list at least every spring and fall. Some things to look for are: missing caulking from around windows, aged weather stripping around doors, cracks and gaps in building walls, and deteriorating masonry. Roofs need to be clear of debris with particular attention to unclogging drains, gutters, and interior/exterior water leaders. The latter needs to function year round. If these leaders get clogged or frozen up water cannot escape, and may pond ontop of your roof. Since water will seek any point of weakness--even as small as a pinhole, weak corner, or small crack in your roofs membrane--this can cause you trouble. A related fact is that often roof plumbing drains out into a municipal storm water system. If that is taxed during peak weather run off, then the building roof drainage will not function and may back-up. This can cause issues with serious water damage outcomes. If there are flooding conditions in your community, chances are, your roof is also undergoing an unusual stress situation.

If you have any concerns about the age or condition of your roof - call in experts to do an assessment and recommend options for the future of the building. Capital expenitures can be unexpected yet it is essential to deal with items in a timely fashion. Often roofing quotes for work stand aside waiting approval processes or until financing takes place. This could be six months to a year. Sometimes a roofing contractor can offer a payment plan in order to facilitate your situation. Once you have made a sound investment in a good roofing system there is still a responsibility to care for your roof and also your building envelope. This is particularly important for flat roofed buildings. Extra care should be taken by any individuals climbing or working off a building but accumulated garbage must be removed, drains cleaned and checked for functioning. If you are uncertain about attempting these maintenance checks and work, contact a roofing contractor that offers you a maintenance plan.

Did you know, if a roof approximately 25 x 100 or 2500 square feet  is holding about  2 inches of water,  that building structure is carrying 13tons of water weight or the equivalent of 4 pickup trucks?

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Keep Reading: "Fake News, White Lies and Fibs in the Roofing Industry"