Protect yourself from roof collapse - KMSP-TV

Protect yourself from roof collapse after heavy snow

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Meteorologist Cody Matz Meteorologist Cody Matz

With all of the snow accumulation lately, and the fact that we have seen little if any melting through the winter, there may be a problem lurking on your property that you didn't even know existed.

This problem is produced by the added weight onto your roof, which could cause damage or even collapse as a result.

As many of us know from shoveling, snow can weigh a lot. The heavy wet snow that we saw late last week can weigh two or three times as much as the light fluffy stuff we have seen through much of the winter.

Most of us likely don't have an issue because of the large sloping roofs of many houses, but crevasses, connection points, dips, and flat spots can gather HUGE amounts of snow putting enormous pressure on your homes structure.

So how do you know if there is a problem? Well, the easiest thing to do is take a glance around your house and see where there appears to be deep snow on the roof.

Most roofs can support 20 pounds per square foot of pressure before there would be a problem with support. 1 inch of water is roughly equal to 5 pounds per square foot. That means, the average roof can handle 4" of water per square foot before damage occurs. This would be the equivalent of about 40-50" of snow, or roughly 3 to 4 feet.

I would say that most of us do not have that much snow on our roofs, however, if you had snow on your roof before our storm last week, then chances are there may be some place on your roof that is exceeding 2 or 3 feet. But your fresh snow and packed snow weigh different amounts. 2 feet of packed snow can be enough to cause permanent roof damage so some action is likely needed.

How to take care of the problem? Well, a little elbow grease and a standard roof rake that you can get at any hardware store for about 40 bucks.

There is a chart you can use below that spells out your risks courtesy of the insurance institute for business and home safety research center.

 

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