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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Too Much Snow Can Collapse Your Roof

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Snow is piled high on a rooftop If too much snow piles up on your roof, your home could suffer structural damage or even a collapse. Follow these tips to avoid problems.

Winter storms in Connecticut can quickly dump a lot of snow and ice on the roof of your home or commercial property. The state's building code requires that residential roofs withstand snow loads of at least 30 pounds per square foot, which works out to about four feet of fluffy snow, two feet of dense snow or about six inches of water. This kind of snow load can lead to building damage and even collapse.

Buildings with flat roofs are especially at risk. Low-sloping roofs over porches, carports and additions (which can have undersize rafters) can be vulnerable, too. And the threat from the weight of heavy snow remains after the storm ends if cold temperatures prevent melting.

Take these steps to reduce the risk of roof damage and collapse in a winter storm.

Before the Storm

  • Inspect roofs for leaks or structural deficiencies.
  • Clear gutters, drains and downspouts of ice and debris.

After the Storm

  • Estimate the number of inches of snow on the roof, perhaps by looking for an area on the ground where snow buildup resembles what has piled up on the roof. Multiply it by 1.25 (the weight of 1 square foot every inch of snow with 25 percent moisture density). That’s your snow load.
  • Clear areas around downspouts so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from the house or building.
  • Remove snow from side walls to prevent high snow mounds from pushing them in.
  • Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.

Important: Never put untrained people on roofs to clear snow. They could easily slip and fall to the ground or make contact with electrical wires while on the roof.

Signs of Damage or Roof Failure

  • Look for improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions.
  • Temporarily shore up and brace dipping or sagging roofs or walls.
  • If you are concerned about your building’s condition, contact a structural engineer or your local building official for an assessment.

When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup, fire and smoke damage restoration services and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

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When you have suffered damage from a storm at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

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