Park City Roof Collapses Due To Snow: Park City PSA

Photo Courtesy of Park City Fire Department

Photo Courtesy of Park City Fire Department

 

On Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 the roof of a home in Thaynes Canyon collapsed. The roof section that collapsed covered the kitchen and living room.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt. The homeowners were in a different room when the roof came down. The Park City Fire Department’s, as well as our opinion, is that the roof collapsed due to heavy snow build up.

This winter has been great for the ski resorts, but we are seeing many homeowners facing problems due to the heavy snowfall and accumulation.

Heavy snowfall & accumulation can cause severe damage to a home and puts people in danger. Let’s take a look at what likely caused the roof collapse and how homeowners in Park City can stay safe by preventing similar problems.

What Likely Caused The Roof Collapse?

During the planning process of a home, a home is engineered to meet building specifications set by the county. A home's roof is designed to hold a certain amount of weight per square foot(this varies by county).

If the weight limit per square foot on a roof exceeds the threshold that it is engineered for, the roofing system will fail as the roof trusses can no longer hold the weight.

This winter has been unique with how heavy the snowfall has been and how quickly a few storms have dropped snow. These conditions have put stress on homes in Park City.

With so much snow building up on a roof, wind can form wind drifts that concentrate snow in certain roof areas and significantly increase the weight in those areas; making them susceptible to failure.

Dangers Of Leaving Snow On A Home’s Roof

Having excessive snow build up on your roof is incredibly dangerous and can cause serious damage to your home. The three biggest dangers of heavy snow build up are:

Rooftop Avalanches: Rooftop avalanches are deadly if you get caught underneath one. A rooftop avalanche can release tons of snow and ice from a roof.

If you have heavy snow buildup, especially on a metal roof, you need to be extremely cautious.

Ice dams: With heavy snowfall, ice dams can grow to weigh thousands of pounds and pose serious threats to people and homes. Ice dams can break windows, decks, lower roofs, and cause damage to the outside of a house and can be deadly for people.

Big ice dams can also cause heavy leaking that can cause major interior damage.

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Roof Failure: If the snow load on a roof exceeds the structural capacity of a roof, It can cause the roof structure to fail and collapse like what happened to the home in Thaynes Canyon.

How To Prevent Heavy Snow Buildup

When it snows like it has been this year, the only way to prevent heavy snow build-up is by having rooftop snow removal.

We have been getting hit by so much snow in short bursts that it is going to build up no matter what you do.

Having rooftop snow removal after big storms will prevent major snow buildup from ever becoming a problem or danger.

Conclusion

This winter has been testing homes in Park City and has been causing severe issues. Heavy snow buildup on the roof of a home makes it susceptible to roof failures, ice dams, and rooftop avalanches.

Rooftop avalanches, ice dams, and roof failures are extremely dangerous and cause severe damage to a home.

By having the snow removed from your roof after major storms, you can eliminate problems caused by heavy snow build up.


 
Randy Jimenez