roof collapseLight fluffy snow followed by heavy rains can lead to a roof collapse. The past storm that residents of Massachusetts endured brought large amounts of light snow that may still be sitting on rooftops. As it rains, the fluffy snow acts as a sponge, absorbing and holding onto the rain, creating heavy snow. “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” (source: WCVB).

Rain can cause ice dams, creating water build-up that can lead to interior damage. A roof collapse can not only lead to damage to your home, but can cause injury to people and pets if in the way of falling debris.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) suggests the following tips to prevent 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.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a personal injury due to a roof collapse, please contact Attorney Jim Brady and Associates, P.C. at: 508-660-8888 or visit us on the web: www.attorneyjimbrady.com.