Catastrophic roof collapse is a big worry for businesses and homeowners. It can cause injury, damage property and inventory, and create business downtime needed for repairs.
A system to monitor your roof’s condition is a smart way to prevent such problems. Here are a few things to consider for your commercial or residential roof.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
A gutter clogged with leaves and other debris doesn’t effectively channel water away from your roof. This can cause water damage to your home’s foundation, basement, and walls.
Cleaning your gutters can help prevent problems, including leaky roofs, mold, and mildew growth. It can also help minimize basement flooding.
Gutter cleaning can also extend the lifespan of your roof. During winter, clogged gutters trap ice, which adds unnecessary weight to your roofing materials and can lead to damage.
Gutters should be cleaned twice a year. They should be flushed out in the spring and fall to remove any accumulated debris that may have been trapped during winter. Taking the time to do this will prevent more significant problems from developing later.
Monitor Your Roof’s Loads
Often, even the best roofs can’t handle the weight of heavy snow or other elements. But automatic monitoring of your roof’s loads can help prevent catastrophic roof collapse, which could lead to severe injury and damage to your property.
Roofs are designed to withstand a specific load that’s based on the structure and materials of your building. But that load can change with snow, rain, and ice on your roof.
If your roof design’s capacity can withstand 43 lbs per square foot, it won’t be able to hold the total weight of an entire storm.
But if your roof only has enough capacity to withstand 30 inches of snow, a minor storm can cause significant damage.
Roof monitors use patented wireless sensors to measure live loads and provide present-time information on even small environmental changes. They communicate with Ethernet-based controllers that send data to multiple redundant cloud servers in data centers nationwide for added security.
Monitor Snow Loads
Monitoring snow loads can help prevent roof collapse if you’re a commercial building owner. This is especially true for flat roof structures, where a single snowfall can dramatically increase the load on the roof.
To monitor your snow load, you can use several methods. One approach involves collecting a snow sample from a 1-square-foot area on your roof.
Another method uses a smaller sample from an access point on the roof, such as a window, hatch, fixed ladder, or other safe means of access.
Whatever method you decide, it’s essential to remember that efficient snow removal is necessary to maintain as symmetrical a roof load as possible. This will lessen leaks, insulation wetness, and damage to the interior of your structure.
Keep Your Downspouts Clear
Water cannot correctly drain when a downspout is obstructed. As a result, trash and water damage can build up.
Regularly trimming trees and bushes that hang over or close to your downspouts is one of the most excellent methods to keep them clear of jams. Doing this will stop small twigs, acorns, and leaves from falling into the gutters and clogging them up.
Another way to prevent a downspout from becoming clogged is to install a filter. These filters are designed to remove most debris but must be cleaned occasionally.
A common problem that occurs during the winter is frozen downspouts. This can cause water to drain improperly, which may lead to a roof collapse.
There are many ways to prevent your downspouts from freezing. You can use heat tapes or self-regulating heating cables. These devices are compatible with various downspout materials, including metal, copper, and plastic.