Clearing Your Flat Roofing Of Snow And Ice: How To Do The Job Correctly

Carlos Bowman

Flat roofing on commercial buildings is notorious for collecting mounds of snow and ice. While this may be funny to those who pass by a building overly heaped with snow and ice, a lot of damage can happen to the building if the snow and ice is not removed. There are proper ways to reduce and remove snow and ice from flat roofing. Here are a few them.

Hire a Roofing Contractor

When you hire a roofing contractor, such as Poskitt Roofing Roofing Repairs, you not only get the snow and ice safely removed from the roof, but the contractor's crew also hauls the snow away so it does not block up the parking lot or sidewalks. Having a roofing contractor do the job has the added benefit of discovering any structural issues with the flat roof, of which you might have been unaware. Since the contractor will already be there, he or she can give you an estimate on repairs if there is anything wrong with the roof.

Shoveling the Snow Away Yourself

Depending on what your flat roofing is made of, you can either shovel away the snow or use a snow blower, if you can hoist one up to the roof. A snow blower is only ideal if your flat roof is:

  • made of solid concrete
  • does not have a rubber roof coating over the top
  • does not have gravel covering the top
  • is not made of lighter weight materials that cannot bear the combined weight of you, the snow, and the snow blower

Otherwise, use a shovel to clear away the snow. If your commercial flat roof is especially large, get a few extra shovels and helping hands to get the snow off the roof. You may also attempt to melt snow on the roof with de-icing cables and/or salt crystals, sending the melted snow down through the downspouts.

Removing the Snow Sooner Rather Than Later

As snow accumulates, it becomes heavier and heavier. The wetter it is, the denser and heavier it is, too. 

For example, three feet of wet snow with a layer of ice underneath could easily place a load of 50-60 pounds per square foot (psf) on a flat roof. 

If you allow snow to build up higher and higher on a flat roof without removing it, eventually the roof will give way, regardless of its construction material. If possible, get out and clear it every hour during a major snowstorm, or see to it that a roofing contractor and his or her crew are tending to the problem.