Is Flat Roof Snow Removal Worth It?

Downtown Minneapolis during the winter. Snow on flat roof.

When snow lands on your commercial roof, your first thought might be to wait it out. After all, the snow will eventually melt and no longer present a major issue, right?

Well, there are two problems with that line of thinking:

  1. During the winter, snow loves to accumulate, so the more snow you leave up there, the heavier its weight becomes and the more pressure you put on your commercial roofing system.
  2. Snow certainly melts, but once that happens, you have another serious issue to worry about: ice. 

When left unmanaged, heavy snowfall can cause severe damage to your property, including water and structural issues. It can also interfere with your flat roof's drainage system, damage HVAC and plumbing equipment, and even pose a potential risk to your employees and customers' safety.

So, is flat roof snow removal worth it? Absolutely! And here are a few reasons why you should make it a top priority this winter.

Snow and Ice Cycle

After a night of heavy snowfall, the sun comes up and melts away the crystals. But when the sun goes down again and the temperature gets colder, that melted snow becomes ice. And we all know that when water freezes, it expands.

So, if your flat roof already has cracks or damaged membranes, the ice can seep into these vulnerable areas and worsen them over time.

But there's more bad news because this same snow and ice cycle also creates ice dams. 

Ice dams can damage your roof and the structure of your building. Because it forms a barrier that blocks water from properly draining, it creates even more weight on top of the roof that results in roof leaks, sagging ceilings, and damage to the surrounding walls and insulation. It can also allow water to seep into your building's electrical wiring.

Snow Accumulation 

Snow is heavy, but it also can grow to a significant height, especially during a blizzard. Therefore, regularly removing snow from your flat roof is necessary to avoid blocking off access areas to the roof and other building areas, including windows. 

Additionally, snow can bury critical equipment and ventilation systems on your flat roof. Damage to such equipment can disrupt business operations and create uncomfortable working conditions for employees and customers. 

Safety Risks

Heavy snow accumulation and ice dams can quickly make your building a safety hazard. Icicles can break off and injure an employee or customer, and heavy snow can fall from the roof and land on important equipment or worse-case scenario: people. 

But here's another safety concern to consider:

Heavy snow on a flat roof can result in ponding water and bowing, which puts unnecessary weight on your flat roof system and, in some scenarios, can result in the total collapse of the roof. 

How To Remove Snow From Roof

If you live anywhere in the Midwest, you already know that heavy snowfall comes with the changing of seasons. However, if you own a commercial property, you must do everything you can to protect its integrity and longevity from the dangers of heavy snowfall and ice. 

Therefore, regular flat roof snow removal is essential to keeping your commercial building (and the people inside of it) safe for years to come. 

But here's the thing. Flat roof snow removal shouldn't not be left to just anyone. Snow and ice create unsafe working conditions, so attempting removal on your own, especially if you're dealing with ice dams, is not recommended.

Instead, it's best to partner with companies that remove snow from roofs professionally. But don't worry; we happen to know a good one!

At All Elements, Inc., we offer flat roof snow removal, ice dam removal, and repair services to businesses throughout the Midwest. Our services range from removing snow from roofs, gutters, and downspouts to steaming, shoveling, roof raking, and much more to keep your flat roof in pristine condition all year long! 

Whether you need help clearing snow off the roof after a heavy snowfall or dealing with potential ice and water damage, we can help! 

Contact us today to learn about our repair and roof maintenance services.

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