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Prevent Damage from Weight of Ice & Snow and Ice Dams


Michigan enjoyed a slow start but in January Mother Nature made up for it with the double whammy of a Polar Vortex and heavy snows. Now is the time for a few reminders on how you can be prepared.

Weight of Ice and Snow

In many areas of our state, heavy snows have built up on houses, pole barns, commercial buildings and a variety of other structures over the past few days from enhanced lake effect as well as system storms.

 While a warm up predicted for this weekend is generally welcome news, it also comes with a weather report forecasting rain. We know from past experience that this will lead to excessive weight from snow and ice, leading to structural stress and damage to roofs and walls, even to collapse. This is particularly true for flat roof structures.

**Saturated snow weighs approximately 20 pounds per cubic foot.  Can your roof handle that?

Homeowners should be sure to monitor snow build up on their roofs and take steps to reduce it before the rains come. Some areas you should be concerned about the snow/ice loads on include:

• Roof overhangs especially where there are large overhangs projecting several feet beyond the horizontal supports
• Multilevel roofs where the lower portion of the roof is subjected to sliding and/or drifting snow or the accumulation of melting snow
• Valleys of your roof that can experience substantial snow or ice accumulation due to drifting, sliding or melting




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