During the winter months in the Northeast, snow loads on rooftops and on buildings pose a risk for collapse and severe damage to the building and its integrity. Accumulating snow should be removed from rooftops regularly to prevent costly losses due to collapse. Owners and residents of flat roof buildings in particular are at greater risks and are urged to be aware of the possible snow load danger.
So as the weather starts to get colder you may want to be prepared and there’s no better way to be prepared than have a nice list of tips to fall back on when needed.
- Identify high-risk areas around your building where a collapse is likely due to a heavy snow load. These areas may include:
- Large open flat roofs, roofs with less than 30 degrees of slope, and multi level roofs;
- Heavily insulated roofs and re-engineered roofs on a bar joists;
- Roofs with previous structural damage and those that have already experienced collapse;
- Areas shaded from direct sunlight that may cause snow to freeze into ice and increase the snow load.
- Keep up with preventative maintenance throughout the year to maintain the roof’s integrity.
- After a storm, be sure to note any improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions which could be signs of roof failure.
- After any snow removal, make sure you repair any loose shingles that may have been loosened or damaged during high winds.
- At some point, you should have your roof inspected by a civil engineer to determine the snow load that can be safely handled by your roof design. This is a good time to identify deficiencies and address them.
- On flat roofs, do not remove snow all the way down to the roof covering and use plastic shovels rather than metal.
If you have any questions about roof integrity, don’t hesitate to give us a call!