When a crazy act of nature causes storm damage to your roof it is good to know that there are contractors that are willing to make emergency calls to the building and fix the problems before they cause even more damage. It is ugly to even think about a roof being torn open and exposed to intense rain that pours into the building and floods millions of dollars worth of electronic equipment, office furniture, documents, and whatever else that it can reach.
If the emergency happens during business hours while there are people working in the building it makes things even worse. Imagine the horror the workers in the office would have while they were getting their coffee from the breakroom and suddenly a tree branch tears through the roof and rips a gaping hole above their head. The worst part is that they might even spill their coffee.
In any event, storms can be very scary and if the building does not have any protective measures in place, things can get really ugly and take a long time to get better.
Violent Winds and Tornadoes
When the winds outside get over 50 miles per hour there can be a lot of problems. Even in the summertime, large gusts of winds can contribute to destructive wildfires that destroy miles and miles of land.
When it comes to the roof of a commercial building it all depends on the type of roof and the quality of the original construction as to how much damage can happen because of a violent storm with strong winds.
One of the dangers that wind can contribute to is the possibility of trees becoming uprooted and falling on top of the structure. As we all know, trees can become very large and heavy. When a 30-foot-tall tree is knocked down by a gust of wind it can cause a lot of damage to a structure that it lands on.
In addition to trees falling, heavy winds can also cause pieces of the roof to be blown away. Whether it is shingles or metal panels when the wind makes its way underneath it, sometimes the force is enough to rip the pieces off and cause even more damage.
Some roofs have cooling and heating systems on top of them that are considerably large. There is the chance that heavy winds can pick pieces of these components up and fling them through the air causing them to hit other areas of the roof and cause damage.
If your business is located in an area that is prone to tornado activity, you are probably already aware of how devastating a powerful twister can be. Beyond the possibility of picking up large, heavy objects and thrusting them through the building, they also have the power to rip the roof right off of a building and spew chunks of it up in the air that can cause even more damage when they land.
Heavy Rains, Hail, and Snow
In addition to crazy winds blowing at upwards of 50 miles per hour, when rain, hail, or snow accompany those winds things get even crazier. While heavy rain and winds can cause severe flooding problems, even up on a roof, the pounding force of heavy hail can cause different types of damage. Snow, as pretty as it is, can be extremely heavy and threaten to cause a structure to crumble under its heaviness.
While hail and snow can cause immediate damage, rain can cause damage that happens, then gets worse over time if it is not discovered and put to a stop. For example, if there is a bit of wear present on the roof that goes undetected when it rains heavily for an extended period of time the chances of flooding on the roof become greater. If the damaged area of the roof is flooded over, the water can make its way through the cracks and reach the vulnerable material underneath.
As the material under the roofing becomes weaker with rot that is caused by fungus or mold which comes with moisture the area that is damaged will increasingly sag under the weight of the roof.
Lightning Strikes and Fires
It is common practice for large buildings that are prone to lightning to place a lightning rod atop their roof so that they can draw the strike away from the building to a safely grounded piece of metal.
Although it is not extremely common, there are plenty of instances where a bolt of lightning hits a roof and causes extensive damage that is not so easily fixed. Lightning is very powerful and carries a lot of energy that can cause severe damage and even fire.
In some cases, there are components such as HVAC equipment, antennas, cables, and other items on the roof that can be a target for lightning bolts. When the bolt hits a target it causes enough heat to start a fire and burn the building down.
In the event that a commercial roof is damaged by lightning during a storm, once the risk of a fire has been removed the roofing contractor can go up and see what all can be done to get things back to normal. After the ordeal is done, it might be a good idea to invest in a lightning rod to put up there so it does not happen again. When they say lightning only strikes once, they are merely assuming this because there is no scientific proof to back up this theory.
Regular Maintenence and Inspections
One of the best ways to prevent extensive damage from unknown issues on a roof is to have the roof inspected by a professional after every storm, or at least after every storm season. Regular inspections can help to reduce the chances of a roof being completely destroyed in the event of a storm or crumbling away unexpectedly while there are people in the building.
A roofing contractor will know what to look for after a storm and be able to detect any damages that could lead to further destruction later on down the line. Some roofing contractors will provide a cost-free inspection for commercial properties. Whether you can get a free deal, or hire a professional to do the inspection it will cost you much less money in the long run if you catch a disaster before it happens.
Roofers and Insurance Companies
Roofing contractors that specialize in commercial roofs will have an understanding of the way that insurance companies work with commercial structures when there is damage that is caused by an event that is covered by the policy.
The reason for this is that the roofer can get paid for the work they do by the insurance agency if everything is handled appropriately and by the law. Since many insurance companies fall victim to fraudulent claims and sometimes have to pay out millions of dollars in damages they want to be sure that every incident is valid and can be covered.
What to Do for Storm Damage
Depending on the situation you will have to until it is safe for a roofer to get up there and fix a problem. Any and every roofing contractor should put the safety of themselves and others before anything else. If there is an emergency such as a fire or there are injuries the best thing to do is call your local emergency services to get help. An “emergency roofer” will not be able to come out and patch the roof while the situation is unsafe. All you can do is wait for the storm to cease, and get the ball rolling when it is safe. Call the insurance company first, then contact your roofer so that you can make sure they get paid without you having to brunt the entire bill.