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Clarkstown PD Issues Roof Snow Load Warning

The Clarkstown Police Department is warning residents to make sure their roofs are not to overloaded with snow.
The Clarkstown Police Department is warning residents to make sure their roofs are not to overloaded with snow. Photo Credit: Clarkstown Police Department

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- In front of the impending blizzard that could dump up to 21 inches of snow in areas across New York, the Clarkstown Police Department is warning residents to make sure their roofs are clear of snow.

The department said the area has experienced roof collapses in the past due to a large accumulation of snow and that heavy snows combined with extremely cold weather conditions provide a cause for concern about the potential for roofing failures.

Although a roofing failure due to accumulated ice and snow loads is rare, there are several roof types and conditions, which residents should be particularly mindful of, including low-sloped roofs,  which should be checked and cleared ahead of the storm, police said.

Ideally, roof drains should be free flowing, and not frozen or clogged with debris, to allow melted water to be removed from the roof.

Another of the major issues that can lead to roof failure is drifted snow associated with high winds. Recent high winds, especially in the lower Hudson Valley may have caused significant drifting of snow on roof surfaces. Large snowdrifts can add significant loading to portions of any roof and can contribute to roofing failures, police said.

This is especially true of large flat roof structures such as commercial, warehouse, factory, arenas or large retail structures where snowdrifts can occur over larger areas of the roof and where mechanical equipment or other roof top structures allow drifts to readily form.

Excess snow and ice accumulations can be safely removed from roofs. In most cases, however, only experienced and qualified roofing contractors should undertake this work, police said.

Snow rakes can be safely used to remove snow from residential roofs from the ground; however, contact with power lines is a serious concern. Anyone who is not certain of safe roof snow and ice removal practices should contact a qualified roofing contractor.

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