Heavy snow puts strain on area roofs - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Heavy snow puts strain on area roofs

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Some homeowners and business owners are worried about snow-packed roofs collapsing.

A dance studio and apartment complex have already seen collapsed roofs from last week's storm. Some are worried that Tuesday's storm could lead to more problems.

The flatter the roof and the heavier the snow, the more chances there would be issues.

Codes require rafters hold at least 20 pounds of snow per square foot. Experts say that's about 16 inches of snow.

Rafters can bend and hold the weight of heavy snow for up to seven days without permanent damage. Most collapses come due to an existing condition before a snowstorm exacerbates the situation.

"It's the guy with the flat roof or the porch on the back of the house that has to deal with the weight of the snow," engineer Don Carter said.

He said he would never advise removing snow yourself from a roof. He says leave that to the experts if you are worried about your roof holding the weight of snow.

Houses are made for the worst of Midwest winters, so it's not time to panic yet, Carter said.

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