Heavy snow loads on roofs can lead to building damage and collapse. Schools, churches, commercial and residential buildings, carports and awnings can be affected.
As winter storms loom, property owners and residents should be aware of the weight loads these storms may be creating, especially on flat roofs.
Take the following precautions to protect life and property:
- Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs.
- Don’t put untrained individuals on roofs to clear snow. Falls from roofs and possible exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.
- Inspect roofs for leaks or structural deficiencies that may develop during the storm.
- Make certain gutters, drains and downspouts are clear of ice and debris.
- Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.
- Clear decks of snow to reduce stress on them.
After the storm:
- Clear areas around downspouts so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from the house or building.
- Remove snow from side walls to prevent high snow mounds from pushing them in.
- Temporarily shore up and brace dipping or sagging roofs or walls.
- Signs of possible roof failure include improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions
- Owners and residents of flat roof buildings are urged to be aware of the possible snow load danger. The threat from the weight of heavy snow will remain for some time after the storm ends if cold temperatures are expected after the storm. Weather conditions won’t allow much melting to occur.
If you have questions about your building’s condition, contact a structural engineer or your local building official for an assessment of the conditions.
If you have suffered storm damage to your property, contact your Hanover agent or Hanover claims at 800-628-0250.
We encourage you to share this information with your customers or download it for use on your website or in your newsletter. Please be sure to include the following credit: “Source: The Hanover Insurance Group, Risk Solutions Dept.”
The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC DEC 2018 11-25