Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance, Property Damage

The unprecedented snow load on roofs in the Northeast has led to some building damage and

collapse. According to reports from several localities, schools, churches, commercial and

residential buildings, carports and awnings have been affected.

As the next in a series of winter storms moves into the region, property owners and residents

should be aware of the weight loads these storms may be creating, especially on flat roofs.

Take the following precautions to protect life and property:

1.  Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs.

2.  Don’t put untrained individuals on roofs to clear snow. Falls from roofs and possible

exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.

3.  Inspect roofs for leaks or structural deficiencies that may develop during the storm.

4.  Make certain gutters, drains and downspouts are clear of ice and debris.

5.  Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.

6.  Clear decks of snow to reduce stress on them.

After the storm:

1.  Clear areas around downspouts so that water from melting snow has a path to flow

away from the house or building.

2.  Remove snow from side walls to prevent high snow mounds from pushing them in.

3.  Temporarily shore up and brace dipping or sagging roofs or walls.

4.  Improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed

beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions could be signs

of roof failure.

Owners and residents of flat roof buildings in particular are urged to be aware of the possible

snow load danger. The threat from heavy snow weight will remain for some time after the

storm ends because cold temperatures expected for the rest of the week won’t allow much

melting to occur.

If you have questions about your building’s condition, contact a structural engineer or your

local building official for an assessment of the conditions.

Reposted from our friends at Hanover Insurance.

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As the mercury begins to drop and the snow begins to blanket our roof tops, a quiet cause of property damage may be forming: ICE DAMS.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2011 in Business Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance, Property Damage

As the mercury begins to drop and the snow begins to blanket our roof tops, a quiet cause of property damage may be forming: ICE DAMS.


1.The build-up of a heavy snow pack on a roof top.

2.Roof temperatures which vary and hover at or near 32° F.

3.Pooled water in the mid-region of the roof.

4.An ice dam at the lower portion of the roof.


An ice dam will likely form when the roof temperature hovers near freezing. The warmer portions of the roof will begin to melt snow allowing water to flow down to the lower roof elevations. The snow melt will re-freeze as it encounters the cooler portion of the roof, thus forming an ice dam. The remaining water will be trapped between the higher elevation snow pack and the frozen run-off in the lower ice dam.

The pooled water may begin to seep through tiny cracks in the roof top. The water can penetrate into the attic space, walls, ceilings and insulation of a structure. This may result in excess moisture, dampness, mold and mildew.

in addition, damage may be seen as gutters and down spouts are compromised under the weight of an ice dam.


Roof top temperature regulation through quality and appropriate attic insulation. This will prevent the warm air of the common areas from penetrating into the attic and heating the roof top.

Proper seals for vents, chimneys and duct work to eliminate hot/cold air ventilation variables.  The cooler the attic space, the better!

Removal of a heavy snow pack from a roof top. It is not recommended that a church employee or volunteer remove the snow. We strongly encourage using a licensed and insured roofing professional who is properly trained and equipped to handle the slippery roof-top conditions.

Thank to our friends at Church Underwriters, Inc. for this timely information.

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