How to Prepare Your Commercial Roof for a Nashville Winter

Harsh winter conditions can spell disaster for an unprepared commercial roof. Even Nashville’s mild winters should be a concern for facility managers who want to keep their buildings in good shape. The shift from a hot summer to a cold winter leads to many changes on a rooftop, and if left alone, a roof can crack in the winter or spring a leak. Here are some tips for roof winterization in Nashville.

Why Worry About Winter?

The most common problem that roofs face in winter is the accumulation of ice. Moisture can build up on a roof during the summer and fall. Sometimes, this water can seep into caulking and roof panels or sit inside drains. When winter arrives that water freezes and expands, cracking the roof and creating clogs and leaks. 

How to Prepare a Roof for Winter

Every roof management program should include a plan for the winter transition. In places like Nashville, where snow is not common, roof winterization is typically focused on debris and moisture removal. While regular cleaning can sometimes be done by a general maintenance team, the cleaning in preparation for winter should be done by a professional so that they can properly inspect for clogs and ensure that all the drains are working properly.

Some roofs will also need small repairs in advance of winter. Small separations of roof panels and cracked caulking provide the perfect places for water to seep in. In winter, this water turns into ice and can cause structural problems in the roof or create a leak.

Emergency Response

Preparing an emergency response plan is also critical for winter. Ice storms can cause trees to fall or quickly fill a roof with dangerous debris. It’s critical to have a plan in place that allows you to respond quickly to these roofing emergencies. Having a professional on-call at all times during winter could save your building extensive damage in an emergency situation.

Prepare with a Management Program

Whether it’s winter or spring, all commercial roofs should have preventative maintenance plans to keep them working for the duration of their expected lives. The best way to do this is through a roof management program with a local roofing company. These programs provide customers with everything from forecast assessments to discounted repairs and roof winterization. Some programs, like Maxwell’s MAXCare® program, also provide 24/7 emergency response services to protect their customers’ roofs during extreme weather.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc.’s MAXCare program can help you prepare for winter, contact us today.

Common Questions About Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication

Sheet metal is the hidden champion behind many construction projects. The material supports buildings, makes machines work, and comprises important mechanical structures. If you’re in need of sheet metal for a project, then customized fabrication might be the best option. Here are the answers to some frequent questions about sheet metal fabrication.

What Is Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Fabrication is the process used to cut, assemble, or otherwise form sheet metal into a finished product. This can be done in bulk in a factory that produces identical parts or in a custom shop that creates unique pieces designed for a specific need.

How Is Sheet Metal Manufactured?

Sheet metal can be made from a variety of different metals depending on its intended purpose. Copper, aluminum, and steel are all popular materials in sheet metal and can be combined with other types of metal in the same sheet. After selecting the material for the sheet metal, it’s melted down in a crucible and then poured out into rectangles. From there the sheet metal is cleaned and rolled out into sheets.

How Can I Get Sheet Metal?

Sheet metal can be bought from a hardware store, or even online, but this uncut sheet metal can’t be used for much. In most cases, going through a fabrication shop is the best way to get sheet metal. A fabrication shop can make sheet metal customized to any use and then cut and shape it into a final product.

What Kind of Machines Are Used for Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Industrial sheet metal cutters aren’t something you just pick up at the hardware store. These large and expensive machines can only be found in machine shops. Industrial machines like water jet cutters can make precision cuts through almost any type of sheet metal.

What Is Customized Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Unlike mass produced sheet metal components, customized sheet metal fabrication creates individual sheet metal components for a specific project. For almost any project, customized sheet metal is going to be more effective and of a higher quality than mass-produced sheet metal. 

Do Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication Shops Help with Design?

Not all custom sheet metal shops help with design, and most charge for design services. This can be difficult for customers with little design or construction knowledge. That’s why Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. never charges for design services, providing them free with all custom sheet metal fabrication.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. can help with your sheet metal job, contact us today.

Commercial Roof Preventative Maintenance 101

Not even the best commercial roofs last forever, but with proper maintenance and preventative care they can last a long time. The key to extending the longevity of any roof is to keep it in the best condition possible. Here are the basics anyone with a commercial roof needs to know about preventative maintenance.

What Is Roof Maintenance?

Roof maintenance encompasses everything from cleaning and repairs to general assessments. If left completely alone, roofs will accumulate debris and small damage. Without intervention, these little problems will worsen, causing the roof to need to be replaced prematurely. 

To maintain a commercial roof, building managers should schedule regular cleanings to remove debris that might cause damage. Yearly inspections are also important to uncover developing leaks and to reveal which specialized roof parts—flashing, gutters, etc.—might need to be replaced.

Good roof maintenance is also critical for complying with factory warranties. Most roofing products come with a guarantee that they will last a certain amount of time. If the manufacturer finds that the roof is not properly maintained, however, it can void the warranty.

How Does Roof Maintenance Save Money?

Roof maintenance can be expensive, but it saves a building owner’s money in the long-term by extending the life of the roof. The best way to save money and still get the benefits of preventative roof care is to join a roof management program, like Maxwell’s MAXCare®

MAXCare helps building owners save on each individual inspection and get discounted repairs. MAXCare customers are also the first priority in an emergency situation, like a storm. With an emergency repair, every minute could cost money in further damage to the roof or other parts of the building.

How Do You Assess Your Roof Maintenance Needs?

With MAXCare, you don’t have to assess your own roof maintenance needs, because a professional will do it for you. Starting with a forecast assessment, a professional roofer will lay out a maintenance schedule for the entire life of your roof, helping you prepare your budget for the future. All roofs have different needs, so it’s best to let a professional handle the planning.

Another advantage of using MAXCare is the program’s industry-leading reporting. Using cutting-edge software, Maxwell technicians log all of their work in one portal so that property managers have easy access to the information they need. With MAXCare, there are never any unwanted surprises or questionable repairs.

To learn more about how MAXCare can help your company keep its commercial roof maintained, contact Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. today.

Best Practices for Gutter & Roof Drain Debris Removal

Leaves and small debris may not seem like something that can damage a hardy commercial roofing system, but if left alone these little messes can turn into major problems over time, causing leaks and other damage. Regularly cleaning gutters and roof drains should be an integral part of any roof management program. Here are some tips for keeping those roofs sparkling clean:

Know your draining system

You’ve probably heard of gutters, but what is a roof drain? Roof drains are typically used on large commercial roofs to drain from the interior part of the roof and not just the edges. Whether you have gutters or a roof drain will change the frequency and type of debris removal that your roof requires. A professional roofer should be able to immediately identify which type of draining system a roof uses and to remove debris accordingly.

Safety first

Whether you’re the one going up on the ladder or you paid a professional to do the job, safety is the most important consideration when removing debris from a roof. Proper safety gear like goggles, gloves, and safety tie offs should be employed during the entire process. It’s also important to consider how the debris will be removed. Throwing leaves and sticks off the side of a roof can be hazardous to people below and workers should consider using bags to store the debris and remove it safely.

Watch out for clogs

A debris cleaning is a great time to examine the gutter and drain systems for clogs and wear and tear. When cleaning a roof, you should also water-test drains and gutters to ensure that moisture on the roof is able to escape properly. Check for loose bolts and screws on gutters, and examine flashings, sealants, and seams for problems. Not just any maintenance worker can do this kind of detailed inspection so it’s important to call in a professional at least a few times a year to make sure everything is working properly.

Prepare for winter

What is just a pile of damp leaves in the fall can become a frozen drain blockage during the winter. Small amounts of water pooling can also become an issue as water seeps into a roof and then freezes and expands. Just because roof debris seems innocuous in the summer doesn’t mean it won’t be an issue later on. Anticipating the change of seasons is an important detail in roof maintenance.

To learn more about how Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal can help keep your commercial roof debris-free, contact us today.