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Under One Roof

Canadian Roofing Reference Manual

3.3.6 Roof Deck Preparation

Snow is one of the extreme cold weather conditions. Whatever snow is on the roof deck has to be removed prior to the application of the roofing components. It is necessary to ensure that sufficient equipment (shovels, blowers and brooms) are on the jobsite to remove the snow. Also, snow blowing equipment and mechanical brooms can be used on roof deck. The brooms remove excess frost quickly and snow blower attachments or mechanical equipment greatly reduces the labour involved in removing snow. The roof deck should be kept clean of dirt and debris which could be thrown by the snow blower.

While it is very difficult to protect roof decks from frost, snow and ice, there are various things that can be attempted.

To protect against early morning frost, bundles of insulation, tarpaulin, or polyethylene paper could be laid out the evening before, so that a dry working surface will be readily available for the first few hours in the morning. The balance of the frost could dissipate once the sun comes up.

For concrete roof decks, the deck surface, when dry, can immediately be primed and given a light coat of bitumen. This makes it less difficult to remove any ice or snow, and makes it very easy to dry out the surface after rain or snow.

For drainage, roof decks may either have roof drains that are not properly functioning or scuppers that are located in a high location. The lack of drainage could result in extra water or even ice on the deck that will have to be removed prior to roofing operations.

Temporary protection shelters may be installed over a roof area.