The weight of snow causes collapsing roof concerns

Matt RoblezOriginally published by KUTV

There’s more snow on the way, and a possible return of icy rain later this week. All that adds up to some heavy snow, and if you have an older home, you might have to worry about what the weight of the snow is doing to your roof.

Heavy snow piled up on the balcony of one Provo home last week, causing it to collapse right on top of a gas meter, which led to a gas leak and a bit of panic for the residents.

Matthew Roblez, a structural design expert with McNeil Engineering, doesn’t think the snow buildup on your roof should cause concern, especially with homes built after 1992 when new structural rules were put into place. But if you have an older home, there are signs to watch out for.

If you’re concerned about your roof there’s a right and a wrong way to go about clearing ice and snow. Experts suggest using a roof rake, snow removal tool to brush snow off your roof from the ground, but that brings another concern: falling debris.

Weight of SnowRoblez says if you’re not sure about the snow buildup on your roof, there’s a simple home test you can use to determine the density of snow.  He says if the density measures less than 30 pounds per square foot, you should be fine. He also says you’re probably safe with less than two feet of snow.

 

Roblez gave 2News a mathematical equation to determine the density of the snow on your roof. If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll need a cardboard paper towel roll, a bathroom scale and this equation.