NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The storm may be over, but the danger associated with 2 feet of snow has not ended – particularly for homes and businesses with flat roofs.
Fire Chief Gary Nestor said the weight of that much snow on a flat roof is a serious concern and one addressed by the state fire marshal with an advisory this week.
The advisory notes that 10-12 inches of fresh snow equals 5-6 inches of packed snow, which equals an inch of ice. The 2 feet of snow currently on rooftops will become heavier with the rain that is predicted and snow melt.
“As we approach the new week, it is anticipated that warm temperatures and rainfall will blanket portions of Massachusetts. With the recent heavy snowfall this rain will increase the weight on roofs throughout the Commonwealth,” the advisory said.
Removing snow from rooftops will minimize the likelihood of structural collapse.
Flat and low-pitched roofs, most often found on industrial buildings, but also are used in certain home designs, are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations.
The advisory provides a list of do’s and don’ts for home owners, and describes signs of a roof in danger of collapse. Those signs include:
• Sagging roofs
• Severe roof leaks
• Cracked or split wood members
• Bends or ripples in supports
• Cracks in walls or masonry
• Sheared off screws from steel frames
The complete advisory is attached.