Flat commercial roofs are most susceptible
BOSTON —With rain in the forecast for Monday, emergency officials are warning Massachusetts residents about the dangers of roofs collapsing under the weight of heavy, wet snow.
The rain could create roof ice dams that cause water buildup and lead to interior damage, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
“Dry, fluffy snow piled on roofs can act as a sponge, absorbing any additional moisture, adding weight and stress to structures if not cleared,” MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz said in a statement. “Flat, commercial roofs are most susceptible if they are not draining properly.”
Schwartz said that he also encourages everyone to make sure neighborhood storm drains are cleared to minimize local flooding.
Here are MEMA’s tips for preventing a roof collapse:
-Watch out for large snow build-up or snowdrifts on roofs, especially roofs that are flat or only have a slight pitch, like on garages, carports and porches.
-Remove roof snow from the ground with a snow rake from the hardware store if possible, but avoid touching power lines with a metal snow rake.
-Avoid working from ladders because they can become icy.
-Only shovel on a flat roof if it is safe to stand upon, but be careful to avoid a potentially dangerous fall.
-Clear flat roof drainage systems to lower risk of roof ponding if there is heavy rain or melting.
-Large icicles on roof overhangs don’t necessarily indicate ice damming, but they are dangerous and should be carefully removed if they are above doorways and walkways.
-Clear storm drains along curbs to prevent water from draining into cellars
-Keep neighborhood fire hydrants clear and accessible