Commercial Roof Damage: Hazardous Weather

Posted April 14, 2016

Spring is one of the best times to survey your roof and check for commercial roof damage. Weather is a leading cause of roof deterioration that can lead to necessary repairs or complete replacement, depending on the severity. While it’s important to note the damage, it’s also important to identify and understand the causes of these problems in order to take precautions and prevent further damage of the same kind.


They don’t call them “whipping winds” lightly. Winds can blow debris across your roof; the blowing debris can cause damage to your membrane, even tearing it in some cases. On older or poorly installed roofs, wind can loosen wall flashings, curb flashings and in extreme cases even cause a complete roof blow-off like the one below.

Winter Weather

As the season with the most diverse types of weather, snow, freezing rain, sleet, ice and hail, winter weather can cause several different types of commercial roof damage.

Too much snow on a roof can become heavy, compressing the insulation, or, worse, damaging the roof deck. We tend to see this problem on roofs in areas that get high levels of snowfall or experience lake-effect snow, such as Western Michigan.

As snow and ice melts and move around, trapped debris can tear your roof's membrane. Ice can also plug drainage systems, which can cause them to back up during a heavy rain or rapid thaw.

Even before the weather hits, you should have your roof drains and gutters cleaned and cleared of debris during your fall roof inspection to ensure all drainage systems are working properly. Once it snows, your best defense against winter weather damage is to have a roofing contractor carefully remove snow to help avoid potential problems.


If the leaves you didn’t remove last fall haven’t already accumulated in your roof drains and gutters, rain runoff will wash them into your drainage systems and clog them. A plugged drain can lead to heavy standing water, which can compress your insulation or damage your roof deck. In extreme cases, gutters clogged with leaves and debris can become too heavy when it’s raining and rip it off your building.

Freezing and Thawing Temperatures

The freeze-thaw cycles of early and late winter can pull apart seams, further deteriorate deteriorated sealant and cause bridged flashing – flashing that is pulled away from walls and other penetrations.

How to Avoid Commercial Roof Damage

Taking preventative measures is one of the best things you can do to prevent commercial roof damage. First, you should hire a reputable roofing contractor to install your roof right out of the gate. The images below, taken of the same building on the same day, show the difference between a roof installed by another contractor, seen in the top image, and a roof installed by Bloom Roofing, shown in the bottom image.


Regular roof inspections will also help prevent weather damage and prolong the life of your roof. Find out more about performing a roof inspection yourself in our post Performing a Spring Roof Inspection.

If you find you need a roof inspection, repairs or replacement, don’t hesitate to contact Bloom Roofing at 248-264-7200. Our experienced technicians can help prevent commercial roof damage, or expertly repair it.