WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published February 11, 2010, 03:40 PM

Snow Weight Could Cause Problems for Homeowners

With more than 46 inches of snow in Grand Forks so far this winter... And more expected soon... some people are concerned about the very soundness of their homes. Specifically their roofs with all the added snow weight.

46.5 inches of snow already this winter and more in the forecast has some people concerned about the added weight. But officials say say most newer roofs in our area should hold about 2 feet of snow or about 30 to 40 pounds of snow per square foot.

Jay Kleven: "Most structures, especially the new ones are designed to handle the snow and especially the drifts, when you have high walls over lower roofs. Those are designed, newer houses with structured roof trusses should be adequate."

There are some warning signs if the snowpack on your roof is getting to be too much for your house to handle. You can look at the rafters and trusses in your home, if they are bending downward or

flexing to the side, the roof is in danger. If they are covered you can still tell if there are problems.

Jay Kleven: "especially if you have drywall, sheetrock directly attached to your roof framing, you will start to see crack in that, that indicating that the trusses are deflecting more than they are designed to.

Another tell tale sign that there is a problem are icicles.

Jay Kleven: "You will start to see large icicles on your roof, when you start to see those ice dams, that's probably the most immediate concern because that's when you get water backing into your roof and you get those water entry problems before you get an outright collapse of your roof."

If you do decide to remove the snow from your roof, you should be careful to not damage the shingles and create more problems.