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Letter to the Editor: Building official has accurate take on snow loads -don’t panic

Thank you Chuck White for your very responsible and accurate take on the current snow loads on roofs as well as the increased load with predicted rains. Having been through many of these events, the worst in 1992/93, I think some of the recent articles and posts about shoveling all roofs are off target and are creating a bit of panic. More damage was done to residential roofing back then was from needless snow removal than from the weight of snow. No homes or buildings built from the ’70s forward were damaged from the weight of snow or rain on existing snow. At the peak of the snowfall in ’93, we had 5 feet of snow on roofs in Quincy. We performed approved testing, outlined by the county, and determined that there was no more than 45 pounds per square foot of weight on the roofs, less than modern day roofs are designed for. This was after it rained on 5 feet of snow. The buildings that sustained damage were pre-1970 built structures. We rebuilt several and in each case, they were not close to the structural integrity of post ’70s construction. Before shoveling, I would re-read the Building Official Chuck White’s article that appeared in Debra Moore’s piece earlier (included below), then determine for yourself what you should do. There is also a weight testing method on the building department  site for you to verify the current weight of snow on your roof.

Mike Beatty

Quincy

Should I shovel the snow off my roof - VER 3_201212191728098668

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