Snow is expected to begin falling after 4 p.m. tomorrow, with accumulations of 3 to 5 inches before changing to rain or freezing rain after midnight into Sunday morning. A bitter cold air mass is forecast to return Monday into Tuesday morning. Providence may drop near or slightly below zero Monday night.
The forecast for rain followed by freezing temperatures will exacerbate loading concerns on flat roofs that have not been cleared of snow.
WARNING SIGNS OF A POTENTIAL ROOF COLLAPSE
Prior to a roof collapse, buildings generally exhibit signs that the roof is in distress and action should be taken to mitigate a roof collapse. The following are some of the symptoms that have been reported prior to roof failure:
- Sagging roof steel – visually deformed
- Severe roof leaks
- Cracked or split wood members
- Bends or ripples in metal supports
- Cracks in walls or masonry
- Cracks in welds of steel construction
- Sheared off screws from steel frames
- Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles
- Water in ponds where it has not formed ponds before
- Doors that pop open
- Doors or windows that are difficult to open
- Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
- Creaking, cracking or popping sounds
TIPS FOR SNOW REMOVAL FROM ROOFS
- Hire a professional. Licensed roof contractors are the best source of professional snow removers. Make sure that they are licensed and insured.
- Homeowners and business owners should be mindful of the risk of personal injury to themselves and occupants before removing snow from roofs.
- Stay grounded and use caution, as metal snow rakes conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line.
- Try to avoid working from ladders, as ladder rungs tend to ice up. Snow and ice collect on boot soles, and metal ladders.
- Flat roofs can be shoveled clear, but only if it is determined that the roof is safe to stand upon. Exercise care when on the roof to avoid potentially dangerous falls.
- Flat roof drainage systems should be kept clear to minimize the risk of excess roof ponding in the event of subsequent heavy rainfall or melting.
- Large icicles can form on roof overhangs, but do not necessarily mean ice damming is occurring. Icicles overhanging doorways and walkways can be dangerous and should be carefully removed.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT AN IMMINENT ROOF COLLAPSE
- Evacuate the Building
- Call 911