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Commercial Roofing Collapse: Causes and Prevention

December 20, 2018

Nobody ever thinks that the roof of their commercial building will collapse. Why would they? Roofing collapses sound dramatic and rare, so we shouldn't worry about them -- right? Unfortunately, that simply isn't the case. If you own or maintain a commercial building, you need to make sure that you are approaching your care of the property in the right way. Today, we are going to be outlining some common causes of roofing collapses that you need to be made aware of. We'll also showcase a few different methods that you can employ in order to prevent roofing issues in the future.

Collapsing Roof: Causes & Prevention

Whether you own a massive warehouse or a single-story building, your commercial property needs to have a healthy and sturdy roof. Roofing collapses have the potential to cause major damage to your building, not to mention harm to the people inside of your property. Roofing collapses don't happen all at once, however, they happen over time. With that being said, some common elemental issues can lead to abrupt roofing issues. Let's highlight some of the most common collapse-related issues below.

1) Snow or Ice - Maintaining your roof during the winter can be a real pain if you haven't approached the task in the right way. Snow, particularly, can become a serious issue if not addressed. Typically, when ice begins to build up on your roof, it prevents the lighter snow from melting and carrying itself off. Your roof can probably handle about 20lbs of weight per square inch. As the snow and ice accumulate, you run the risk of exceeding your stress limit, thus causing a collapse.

Solution: If snow build-up occurs, you might have to physically remove it from your roof. Roof rakes work to get this task done, otherwise seek a professional.

2) Standing Water - Accumulating water can lead directly to a collapsed roof, irrespective of the time of the year. Whether the water is a result of melted snow/ice or a torrential downpour, you cannot let a large amount of water sit on your roof. Water is heavy per cubic foot than snow or ice, which makes it far more dangerous.

Solution: Inspect your roof often for poor irrigation. Pay special attention to your gutter system and make sure that your water flow is healthy and fast moving.

3) Blunt Trauma - Finally, heavy trauma can also result in a roof collapsing. Whether this trauma is caused by a falling tree or heavy winds, you must address the issue. Roof damage that is left to develop will end up further causing issues.

Solution: Always inspect your roof for suspected trauma. Fix any issues immediately.

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