Winter weather in Colorado halts progress on our front range roofing projects pretty regularly from the end of October to the beginning of May. The reality is, if there is the possibility of rain, sleet, or snow in the forecast, it’s better to stay off roofs (which are designed to keep snow from piling up) and keep the ladders strapped to the trucks. We’re lucky enough to be able to pause a project for a day or two while we wait for the sun to return and melt everything. Santa on the other hand doesn’t have that same luxury… He’s got one night a year to deliver all of the presents to the good little boys and girls across the world and if there’s snow, tough luck. So, which roofs would Santa hate the most?
High Pitched Roofs
I think we can all agree that a heavy pitched roof is the obvious answer here. Have you ever been on a 12:12 roof? For those of you who aren’t familiar with the terminology, 12:12 refers to the pitch of the roof with the first number referring to the rise and the second number referring to the run. A 12:12 roof rises 12 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal roof and would be equivalent to a 45 degree slope. Any pitch above 9:12 is considered heavy pitched. These roofs may require extra fasteners, and these steeper roofs are hard enough to get around in perfect conditions let alone in the dark. Add in snow or ice and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. Let’s hope Santa is tying off or he’ll be getting a call from OSHA!
Flat Roof with Poor Drainage
At first, you may think Santa’s favorite roof would be a flat commercial roof. They are, well, flat and fairly large, giving a perfect runway for takeoff and landing. Unfortunately, one of the number one problems we see on flat roofs is poor drainage leading to ponding. Standing water on a flat roof for 12-36 hours after a storm can be normal, but according to the National Roofing Contractors Association, any water found ponding on flat roofs for longer than 2 full days should be examined by a professional commercial roofing contractor. When these pools of water freeze on a white roof like TPO, they become nearly invisible black ice, a nightmare for Santa, and can also cause major damage as water enters seams or “fishmouth” tears in the roofing material and may start to leak through to the insides of your building.
Another front runner for worst roof is metal roofs. While these roofs usually appear on lower sloped roofs, they can still be hard to walk on, especially in the wet. These roofs are usually selected for their durability and longevity; lasting 40 to 70 years and capable of withstanding wind gusts up to 140 mph and tend to be fairly impact resistant. That being said, a slip from our big guy, Santa, is sure to cause some damage, even to a metal roof. We’d hate to be the ones trying to color match a repair to an older metal roof.
Another downside to a metal roof is the noise. Good luck not waking the whole house with 36 reindeer hooves trampling around on a sheet of galvanized steel, aluminum, or tin.
A Vegatative/True “Green” Roof
Many urban areas across the country, including Denver, have started to introduce Green Roof Requirements as a way to reduce building energy use and encourage biodiversity and create habitats in areas normally devoid of wildlife. One way to accomplish this is by adding vegetation to a roof.
At first, this may sound like a perfect place for Santa’s reindeer to stop for a rest and a snack and herein lies the problem… A green roof may be a bit too inviting for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph. If you’ve ever ridden a horse, you’ll know how stubborn they can be when they find a snack out on a trail. I’d imagine the reindeer would be a similar story; not willing to move on to the next stop after grazing on a nice shrub during a hard night’s work. And Santa will be wishing you recoated your roof (a perfectly acceptable option that meets Denver’s Green Roof Requirement in most cases) instead of opting for a true “green” roof.