A heavy snowstorm or blizzard that can accumulate several inches of snow quickly can be trouble for a business, especially on the roof. Should there then be rain, on top of snow, this can significantly add to the weight and be in danger of collapse.
Even a partial roof collapse can cause extensive damage to the interior contents of a business. When the snow comes in, it melts and can cause flooding or water damage inside the building.
To avoid a possible roof collapse under heavy snow, it is important to know how to estimate the weight of the snow and ice on the roof and when to remove it. The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers general guidelines to help estimate the weight of snow on commercial roofs:
If you are in the “danger zone” according to chart above or if the loads you estimate based on the thickness of the various types of snow and ice exceed 20-25 pounds per square foot, you
should consider having the snow removed from your roof by a professional.
Visit IBHS for more information and a diagram on how to estimate the roof load and when to remove snow.
NOTICE: This information is provided solely as an insurance risk management tool. It is provided with the understanding that the member insurance companies of the Utica National Insurance Group ("Utica National") are not providing legal advice, or any other professional services or advice. Utica National shall have no liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the use of this information. You are encouraged to consult an attorney or other professional for advice on these issues.