5 Steps to Prepare Your Flat Roof for Winter

5 Steps to Prepare Your Flat Roof for Winter

Rufus WestRoof Maintenance



Have you heard? Winter is coming…in some places, it’s already here! Is your facility ready to tackle the cold and snow? It takes thinking ahead and preparation to prevent leaks and other roof issues during the winter months.

West Roofing Systems is located in Cleveland, Ohio; our teams install quality roofs that are made to withstand hard winter weather. We work with commercial facility owners and managers every year to prepare their buildings for the winter season.

Here are 5 steps to prepare your flat roof for winter.


 1. Schedule a Roof Inspection

Commercial Roof Surveys and Inspections

Before winter weather hits, it’s essential to get a professional on your roof. A licensed contractor or inspector should walk your roof and look for damage or areas of potential damage. It’s important to fix any issues with your roof system because when the snow and ice hit your roof, it can turn minor problems into the major issues very quickly.

Read More: Do I Need a Commercial Roof Inspection or Survey?

Regular inspections should be performed before and again after winter to ensure you don’t run into surprise puddles in your facility.


What Your Contractor is Looking For

  • Open or Loose Seams
  • Cracked Caulking and Failed Sealants
  • Gaps or Separations
  • Cracked or Rusted Flashings
  • Loose Roof Edge/ Perimeter
  • Punctures in Membrane



2. Clean and Clear


While your roof is being inspected for potential problems, it’s important to prevent issues by making sure your roof and gutters are clean and clear of debris. Branches, leaves, trash, equipment and anything else that doesn’t belong on your roof should be removed. Anything sitting on your roof surface is a hazard to your entire system. If you have the spare equipment or loose branches on your roof, you risk puncturing your roof membrane and allowing water into your system.


When the snow melts, the water needs a place to go. Make sure all of your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves, twigs and other debris to prevent water from backing up and sitting on your rooftop.

Read More: 5 Common Causes of Commercial Roof Leaks


3. Evaluate Adjacent Areas


It’s not only important to examine your roof and facility, but you also need to look at the surrounding areas adjacent to your facility. You want to look for trees and buildings that can affect your roof during the winter season.



Snow adds weight. Surrounding trees and branches hanging over and around your facility are a potential hazard. These branches can dump a significant amount of weight, or the entire branch can break and land on your roof.


Surrounding Buildings

If you have other buildings surrounding your facility, you have the potential of snow to drift from their roof to your roof. It’s important to know these potential hazards as you enter the winter season so that you and your contractor are prepared.


4. Prepare Important Information


No matter how you treat a commercial roof leak, it’s important to remedy the problem before it grows. Even the smallest leak can cause serious problems if not treated. Water getting through your roofing system can cause considerable damage to your building from mold to structural damage.

Read More: My Commercial Roof Is Leaking: What Can I Do?


Call Your Insurance Agent


Make sure you are up to date on your insurance policy. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage and that you know how to reach them in case you need to file a claim.

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Review Your Warranty


Look back at your files to review your current roofing system’s warranty. It’s important to know what your warranty covers and what it doesn’t cover. You also want to make sure that your roof is still under warranty and that you are taking the proper steps to stay under warranty.


If you have recently installed a new roofing system, make sure to contact your contractor to see if they can help prepare for the winter weather.


5. Prepare Your Action Plan


If you do find yourself in the middle of a roofing emergency this winter, prepare ahead of time by creating or reviewing your action plan now. Make sure that your team knows who to call and what to do in the event of a roof leak or worse. Gather your contractor’s information, insurance paperwork and a copy of your warranty somewhere that is easy to access.



At West Roofing Systems, we take pride in the new roofs we install and the maintenance we provide for our customers and their commercial, industrial and manufacturing buildings. Our M.a.R.S. (Maintenance and Repair Service) Program is available for new and existing roof systems.


Choosing West Roofing Systems as a turnkey roofing company will provide you with highly trained teams and award-winning service. Our services are flexible and diverse; we can recoat, repair or replace your facility’s roof so that it lasts decades.


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Rufus West