While sloped roofs are better than flat roofs at dealing with rain, they're a lot more vulnerable to water penetration as a result of ice dams. An ice dam is a deposit of ice that remains on your roof long enough for some of the snow immediately above it to melt and penetrate your shingles. Even though you can't prevent ice dams from forming, taking these two preventative measures will drastically reduce the risk of major damage to your roof.

Spray A Waterproof Sealant Onto Your Roof In The Fall

No matter how big of an ice dam forms on your roof, the water that accumulates above it will never get a chance to penetrate your roof if all of your shingles are water resistant. If your shingles are starting to crack and come apart, spray an acrylic polymer sealant from your local hardware store on them in order to shore up their ability to resist water.

It'll be difficult to treat your roof shingles with a sealant chemical if they're already covered and partially penetrated by snow. Therefore, if you're going to spray a sealant on your roof at all, the best time to do so is in the fall.

Cover The Top Of Your Roof With A Tarp

You don't need to completely cover your roof with a tarp in order to properly guard against possible water damage. Ice dams melt in a relatively uniform fashion and don't put a lot of liquid water directly on your roof. This means that you're free to focus on protecting the top of your roof and the shingles immediately above where an ice dam is likely to form.

It can be difficult to decide exactly how much of a roof to cover with a tarp if you don't have any experience with ice dams. When in doubt, however, it's better to overestimate a future ice dam's size rather than underestimate it.

The main disadvantage of covering your roof with a tarp is that it'll look silly when there's no snow covering it. But even if you run a business very dependent on image, this downside is probably better for you to accept.

Especially if you don't have the luxury to take off work from your business for very long, don't underestimate how serious and expensive a leaky roof can be. While it may seem like a lot of effort to take these preventative measures, the protection from ice dam–related damage that they provide is well worth it. For more tips, contact a company that specializes in commercial roof repair and ask what they recommend you do.