snow accumulation on roofs
The dangers of snow accumulation on roofs: PART 1
This is a reminder by the Department of Public Safety, and the Department of Fire Services.
There were many challenges presented by the February 8th snowstorm that struck Massachusetts. Warm temperatures and rain are expected to blanket parts of Massachusetts as we move into the new week. Rain will make the snow heavier on roofs across the Commonwealth due to the recent snowfall. The onset of storm-related issues is something that fire and building services must plan for.
Flat roofs, areas with parapets and areas of snow drifting are all major concerns. To ease the additional weight, many commercial building owners will hire or bring on staff to remove snow from flat roofs. This makes it alot easier for emergency services to reach these areas. Consider the extra weight that firefighters might add to these roofs in areas with significant snowfall.
Tenants, homeowners, and businesses need to be aware of the potential dangers of heavy snow loads on roofs and the warning signs that could indicate structural weakness. Most cases, the risks presented by snow accumulation on roofs can be minimized by clearing it off. Snow can be removed from both homes and commercial buildings. Snow removal from roofs should be done immediately, as temperatures will continue to rise and fall in the coming days.
The likelihood of structural collapse is minimized by removing snow from roofs. Low pitched and flat roofs are most common on industrial buildings. However, they are also used in some home designs. They are more susceptible to buckling under heavy snow or ice accumulations. Lower roofs that collect snow from higher roofs can also be at risk.
A cubic foot of dry snow is approximately seven pounds. A cubic foot of wet powder can weigh as much as 20 pounds. Consider hiring someone to clear the snow if you can.
These are some helpful tips for homeowners who want to remove snow and ice from their roofs and other areas.
When performing these tasks, wear protective headgear or goggles.
To remove snow from your roof, use a snow rake (available at most hardware shops).
Begin at the edge, and work your way up to the roof.
Make sure to have your gutters and drains cleared of snow and ice, and that downspouts are clean at ground level.
Instead of scraping the roof clean and slicing it down to 2 to 3 inches, you can shave the snow to the desired level. This will reduce the risk of damage to your shingles and other roof coverings.
Snow can be swept from flat roofs by sweeping it over the building’s side. Plastic shovels work better than metal ones, but they can cause damage to your roof.
If large icicles are hanging above walkways and doors, be careful. You can use a broom stick to knock down icicles from windows.
Hire professionals to complete the task. This is a very dangerous chore in your house because it involves heights and ice.
Even if you don’t have the resources to hire professionals, it is worth having someone with you just in case.
Remember that any metal tool can conduct electricity if it touches an electric line. Metal tools could also cause roof damage.
Here’s a list of things homeowners should not do.
To remove snow and ice, don’t use an open-flame device.