Roof collapses from winter storms are a common occurrence, and one which can lead to great loss of property and even lives. When too much rain accumulates on the roof, the weight of it
weighs down on the roof, leading to structural damage and consequently, collapse. It is also important to note that rain water is heavy. This only serves to increase the pressure on the roof. Flat roofs are especially vulnerable to roof collapse, since their structure makes rain accumulation so much easier.
There are several steps that you can take to ensure you protect your property against roof collapse. These include:
Pay close attention to what the weather department has to say about anticipated snowstorms. Usually, the weather department and the government will issue “roof collapse alerts” to keep property owners aware of what to expect.
If there is already rain puddles on your roof, evaluate how heavy the load is and remove it if necessary.
Have a plan in place with a fully insured and experienced roofing contractor who can remove the dangerous accumulations which have happened on your roof. This contractor will also respond swiftly after a large storm, besides ensuring you have put in place preventive measures to avoid a roof collapse.
Be aware of the maximum snow depth your building can safely handle by consulting structural engineers who can calculate the roof’s live load capacity. Once you know what the maximum water depth is, you will know when to get rid of the water when the depth is exceeded.
When removing rain water that has accumulated on your roof, do so in layers so that the weight of the water on the roof is evenly balanced. And if you are not sure you can do this on your own, let your roofing contractor do it instead.
Always pay close attention to your roof so you can detect areas where structural damage has occurred. These are the most vulnerable areas which will be easily overwhelmed by the weight of the rain water, leading to a collapse.
Have a roofing contractor attend to your roof on a regular basis. Do not wait until a heavy rainstorm occurs to call in the roofing professionals. The best way to take care of a roof is to take preventative measures that are guaranteed to keep your roof in good shape.
Keep your eyes open for signs that a roof collapse is in the offing. These include:
Loud noises, popping and creaking
Broken or splintered wood joists, rafters or decking
Sagging or deformed metal components
Doors or windows that are difficult to open
Bent conduit, utility or sprinkler piping
All these are signs that should point you to a possible roof collapse. If you spot any or several of these signs, call the roofing contractor immediately. Failure to do so could lead to great loss of property and in worse scenarios, serious injuries.