Preventing Storm Damage to Your Commercial Roof
When there is a significant storm on the horizon, you might not be able to control the weather, but you can take proper steps to protect your property.
SERVPRO would rather help you prevent damage, but we are available 24 hours a day to clean and restore any property damage. Our trained technicians are ready to repair all kinds of storm damage.
Roof damage can quickly lead to other kinds of property damage. Here are some practical tips for protecting your commercial roof from storm damage.
Preventative maintenance is the first line of defense
The easiest way to prevent storm damage to your commercial roof is to follow the recommended preventative maintenance schedule. Have a roofing expert inspect your roof annually or semiannually. It is easier to repair small issues before they become significant problems.
Remove debris and hazards
Storm damage often comes from blocked storm drains. Clean any loose debris and make sure there is no standing water. Loose roofing materials, branches, leaves, and other debris can prevent water from draining correctly.
Remove hazards like overhanging limbs and weak roofing sections. Trim branches and bushes to at least 3 feet away from your building. This prevents leaves from blocking drainage systems and reduces the risk of damage to your roof.
Make sure the HVAC systems, satellite dishes, and other equipment are anchored correctly. During a storm, these can cause blunt force damage. Loose material blowing across rooftops cause up to 70% of roof damage during a hurricane.
Waterproof a flat roof
Cold temperatures can cause asphalt-based roofing materials to crack. Hot weather can cause "crazing" and bubbles. If you have a flat roof, invest in regular waterproofing treatments to prevent moisture damage. Make sure the roof hatch and access doors close tightly to prevent water seeping into the building.
Extra preventative measures
If you know a strong storm is on the way, lay tarps and plywood on your roof. The tarp holds shingles in place and adds an extra layer of defense against water.
If you live in an area with frequent, intense storms and high winds, consider replacing your asphalt roof with more durable metal, plastic, or stone materials.
After a storm
Immediately after a storm, look for leaks and evidence of water damage inside your building. Once the weather clears and water dries, it can be challenging to find the leaks. It's best to inspect your property immediately after a significant storm or while it is still raining.
Check your roof for damage and holes that might allow more water, bugs, or debris to get into your building.
If you find any water damage inside your building, immediately phone your SERVPRO technicians and your insurance provider to alert them of the damage. Roof leaks shorten the life of your roof. Untreated water damage can lead to more significant issues throughout your building, like mold and mildew.
Protect your property
Even small amounts of water damage can become a significant problem. As soon as you discover water damage or a leak in your roof, move inventory and property to a safe place or cover it to keep everything dry. Avoid any wet electrical equipment. Contact an electrician immediately if the roof is leaking onto electrical equipment.
Document any water or storm damage for your insurance provider.
Stay off the roof
Storm and water damage can compromise the integrity of your roof. Avoid the temptation to assess the roof yourself. Instead, call your roofing contractor who has the proper training and equipment to inspect your roof safely.
When the roofing contractor arrives, ask them to take photos of any damage for your insurance claims.
Let SERVPRO handle the restoration
A leaking roof can let water seep into insulation, drywall, and other building materials. It is essential to make sure everything dries thoroughly to prevent mold, mildew, and other structural issues.
After our SERVPRO technicians inspect your building and determine the scope of the damage, they use specialized equipment, sensors, and infrared cameras to identify hidden moisture, in ceilings, walls, and flooring that is very difficult to see.
Our technicians use pumps, fans, and wet/dry vacuums to clean up any excess water. We remove any drywall, insulation, and other materials that cannot be dried and repaired.
When everything is dry, our technicians repair everything as quickly as possible so your business can get back up and running. We can even help you with your insurance claims!