…and 3 more things for the winter leak
There can be little more distressing then the consciousness of water gushing into the front lobby of your hotel uncontrollably. Everyone and everything are at jeopardy. Problems – long-term and short-term. Not only can this be detrimental to your brand and Popularity Index, but becomes an immediate safety crisis for your guests and staff. Longer term, there will be building repair costs (to whatever extent), but more costly guest complaints and bad publicity.
Most people take their building envelope for granted until it impacts and interrupts their daily operations.
We truly hope that you never need to suffer through a crisis like this, but if by chance you do, we’ve listed the basics you’ll not want to be without. By the way, it’s good to have someone get in touch with your roofer as soon as possible to have them on their way:
1. Mop and Buckets
For starters, try to capture as much of the water as you can to contain the issue. Use staff and safety signage to caution and reassure guests.
2. Portland Cement
If this can be done safely, access the roof and search for possible leak area. (It may be a phantom leak – in a different location then where water is visibly entering the building). Look for areas where water seems to be ponding / draining. Apply Portland cement to area to temporarily plug hole.
3. Water Pumps
Set up electric water pumps in ponded water areas to assist in draining the areas. Now’s a good time to make sure that there is nothing plugging the drains to cause the leak in the first place.
Here’s 3 more things to have on hand for your winter leak:
1. Ice Melter
Seems silly melting ice to make your leak worse doesn’t it? Well, there’s a little more to it. Often times snow and ice build-up around roof drains blocks off water running to it so that it builds up around parapets, curbs and roof hatches and causes water to enter the building. Ice melter used strategically around the drains can maintain water flow to the drains.
2. Ice Chisel Device
Similar to ice melter, chisels can be used to remove snow and ice and create clear channels for water to flow to the drains.
Shovels are essential for clearing away snow to identify the leak area. It’s good to remove snow that lays on poorly insulated roof systems because they let out significant heat that melts the snow and creates water channels that run beneath a snow and ice covered roof.
Although this blogs sets out a great DIY, it’s always good to involve a roofer. Be very careful when using tools to clear away snow and ice that you do not accidentally damage the membrane and cause more leaks!
An important takeaway is that truly your building is one of your most valuable assets. It reflects your client’s experience, the culture for your staff and a huge monetary investment. Follow through with the necessary maintenance and due diligence before the crisis.