Is it Safe Up There?

Buildings are susceptible to risks from excessive rain and snow on the roof.  Knowing how much your roof can handle can help avoid collapse.

The excessive rain has not only caused the ground to give way, roofing systems may have been affected as well.  Slow drainage of roof water, and rooftop flooding, could lead to major roof leaks through very small roof membrane and flashing defects not usually noticeable during an average rainfall.  In addition, the excess water accumulation may have affected your roof’s ability to bear the weight of the coming winter’s snowfall.  The key to a snow's weight is how much water is locked up within the snow.  When there is limited natural melting and only a relatively small amount of that water has been able to drain off, blow off or evaporate, you can literally have tons of extra weight on a roof because of snow and the water it contains.  An analysis completed by BIA’s structural engineers can determine the maximum loads your roof can withstand as well as provide practical solutions to improve the strength of your roof.  

The structural analysis could also include available retrofit reinforcement methods such as:  increasing roof framing, wall bracing, columns, etc.  BIA’s nondestructive testing of your roofing systems can prepare you for the coming winter.  Knowing your roof’s load bearing capacity is half the battle. Once the snow hits, BIA can provide snow coring assessments to determine the actual weight that is bearing on the roof system, giving you piece of mind and protecting your property.

Some signs of roof distress may include:

  • Sagging steel
  • Splitting wood frame/supports
  • Sprinkler heads forced down below ceiling tiles
  • Doors/Windows popping open or difficult to open
  • Curving or bowing utility pipes or electrical conduit near the ceiling
  • Creaking or popping noises