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Getting snow safely off your roof

Heavy snow on roofs could lead to collapse if not cleared off

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 10:17 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - The mountains of snow from the wicked weekend blizzard haven't budged, nor has any of it melted. Now, the heavy, icy remnants are causing worry for anybody with a suspect roof.

And some are calling in the pros to get it off their roofs.

Spence Schroeder's crew isn't spending much down time these days; they're plowing out driveways and helping clear snow for those in need.

But while many of us have been looking down at all the snow, Levi Brood is looking up. That's because the weight of what's been falling is piling up on rooftops everywhere. And that is potentially dangerous.

"It takes a big to do with the rafters. That much load on the roof makes it sag, so then the shingles pop, and then you have problems with the roof."

And any type of roof, from flat to pitched, can be susceptible to collapse.

"Any kind of roof, it's still going to sit there. Even if its tin, it still sticks. Sometimes its sticky snow, its not just light fluffy snow or it just floats off."

Home safety experts advise that most residential roofs should be able to support 15-20 lbs./sq. ft. of snow before they're "stressed." What can complicate that is if your roof is already rotting or damaged.

If you're looking for a common sign, the New Hampshire-based Summit Engineering, Inc. suggests to look for signs of water damage coming through the ceiling or cracks in the drywall, as well cracked roof joists, and listen for cracking sounds.

If you have a commercial building, look for sprinkler heads protruding through the ceiling.

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