Photo from WPRI
Reports are coming in from around the region of roof collapses caused by the combination of previous heavy snow and large amounts of rain, including a collapsed roof yesterday in Pawtucket.
The City of Providence has issued a Public Service Announcement about the risk:
***PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT***
A MESSAGE FROM COLONEL PETER GAYNOR, DIRECTOR OF PROVIDENCE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
ROOF COLLAPSE CONTINUES TO BE OF HIGH CONCERN IN PROVIDENCE
The amount of recent snowfall that is piling up could weaken roof structure and cause a collapse. Homeowners and business owners should be mindful of the risk of personal injury to themselves and occupants before removing snow from roofs. A contractor could be helpful in assessing the need for snow removal. Most tree removal companies will do snow removal from roofs.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Be on the alert for large accumulating snow build-up or snowdrifts on your roofs. If roof snow can be removed with the use of a snow rake (available at most hardware stores), do so. Use caution, as metal snow rakes conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line.
WARNING SIGNS OF A POTENTIAL ROOF COLLAPSE
Prior to a roof collapse, buildings generally exhibit signs that the roof is in distress and action should be taken to mitigate a roof collapse. The following are some of the symptoms that have been reported prior to roof failure:
- Sagging roof steel – visually deformed
- Severe roof leaks
- Cracked or split wood members
- Bends or ripples in metal supports
- Cracks in walls or masonry
- Cracks in welds of steel construction
- Sheared off screws from steel frames
- Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles
- Water in ponds where it never has not formed ponds before
- Doors that pop open
- Doors or windows that are difficult to open
- Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
- Creaking, cracking or popping sounds
TIPS FOR SNOW REMOVAL FROM ROOFS
- Try to avoid working from ladders, as ladder rungs tend to ice up. Snow and ice collect on boot soles, and metal ladders.
- Flat roofs can be shoveled clear, but only if it is determined that the roof is safe to stand upon. Exercise care when on the roof to avoid potentially dangerous falls.
- Flat roof drainage systems should be kept clear to minimize the risk of excess roof ponding in the event of subsequent heavy rainfall or melting.
- Large icicles can form on roof overhangs, but do not necessarily mean ice damming is occurring. Icicles overhanging doorways and walkways can be dangerous and should be carefully removed.
- All of the mentioned actions should only be performed by able-bodied adults, as the snow is heavy, and roofs and other surfaces may be slippery. Protective headgear and eye protection is recommended.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT AN IMMINENT ROOF COLLAPSE
- Evacuate the Building
- Call 911
Helpful Links: weather.thefuntimesguide.com