WEATHER

What to know about roof collapses caused by snow, tips from a safety expert

Apr 3, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 3:06 pm

The Cache County Sheriff's Office responded to two snow-related roof collapses on Thursday, Photo c...

The Cache County Sheriff's Office responded to two snow-related roof collapses on Thursday, Photo credit: Cache County Sheriff's Office.

SALT LAKE CITY — With the Beehive State being pelted by snowstorm after snowstorm, many roof collapses have been seen throughout the state. How can homeowners prevent their roofs from collapsing?

Chief Brian Brendal with the Mountain Green Fire Protection District joins Dave and Dujanovic with hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic. He shares guidance on what homeowners should know about roof collapses caused by snow.

Brendal begins the segment by saying the number of homes collapsing due to the weather has been a challenge for the district.

“Certainly, very unusual,” he tells Noriega and Dujanovic. “I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

“Well, I wonder, Chief, how many houses are in danger? Because, I know it’s just incredibly difficult to clean off the roofs to get (the snow) off,” Noriega asks Brendal. “It just builds up storm after storm after storm. Are you concerned that, especially with this latest heavy snow, that there could be many more?”

Brendal says the district is “really considering” the possibility of more weather-related structure collapses.

“We’ve gotten some intel … that there has been significant structural damage to homes,” he says. “It’s really something that you shouldn’t ignore. You really should watch for the signs.”

What to do to prevent roof collapses

Brendal goes on to say that if there is a foot or two of snow on their roof, a homeowner should do something to get it off.

“A lot of the folks are a little complacent because, um, this has never occurred before, but we’ve had record snow now,” he says.

He recommends homeowners rake the snow off their roof, but they must be cautious with how they do it.

“You have to be very cautious about your pole that you’re using,” Brendal says. “That’s usually a metal pole … Those things, you know, conduct electricity and sometimes we have overhead wires.”

Along with this, Brendal recommends homeowners enlist the help of their friends and neighbors. However, they should be sure to not have too many individuals on the roof at one time.

“I drove by a house the other day when there were six people up on the roof,” he says. “That’s kind of a dangerous situation. You’re adding too much weight to the roof.”

He also advises people to talk to their insurance companies, saying they may offer suggestions of someone who knows how to safely sweep snow off of roofs.

If there is a roof collapse

If there is a roof collapse, Brendal says it’s usually in the large open areas of a structure. 

“All three of the (roof collapses) that we have responded to were over the garage,” he says. “But, at the same time … it affects the entire structure.”

He says a roof collapse could push brick out of place or even cause walls to bulge out.

“You’ve got to not ignore the signs and then get out. Get out and stay out,” Brendal says. “Just because the section that you’re in didn’t collapse doesn’t mean that there isn’t a possibility of a secondary collapse. Remember these houses were not constructed for this much snow.”

In the case of a roof collapse, he advises homeowners to call 911.

“Have us come out so that we can assess the structure, but mainly so that we can shut off the gas, shut off the electricity- if it’s safe and try to prevent any further damage,” Brendal says.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Further reading: Park City Fire Department reminds homeowners to check for snow and ice buildup

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Weather

Motorists drive in the rain in Millcreek on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024....

Adam Small

Utah expected to get more rain and snow this week

An atmospheric river making its way to Utah will bring rain to the valley and snow to the mountains throughout this week.

19 hours ago

three skiers on lift shown, snow in utah expected today...

Peter Johnston

Skiers rejoice! A foot of snow is coming to the northern Wasatch Mountains

Brighton, Park City and Solitude will see more than a foot of snow drop today, according to Ski Utah.

5 days ago

Motorists drive in the rain in Millcreek on Feb. 7. Mountain snow and valley rain are back in Utah'...

Carter Williams

Advisory issued as rain and snow return to Utah

The advisory states that some high-elevation locations may end up with another foot of snow or more over the next few days.

6 days ago

...

Adam Small

Avalanche conditions remain considerably dangerous in some areas

According to the Utah Avalanche Center, the danger for people to trigger avalanches is 'considerable' in the mountains from Salt Lake to Provo, and in the Uintahs.

9 days ago

Vehicles in Big Cottonwood Canyon Jan. 15, While utah snow levels have gone down in February, rain ...

Tammy Kikuchi

Utah’s February snow levels are below normal, but it’s no cause for concern

While Utah snow levels have been low early on in February, the extreme amount of rain has been making up the majority of the snowfall.

12 days ago

snowy intersection, utah road conditions...

Adam Small

Storm moving out, making way for a clear weekend

As the storm moves out of the state, Utah can expect a cold and clear weekend.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

What to know about roof collapses caused by snow, tips from a safety expert