posted on: 2/15/2017; updated: 2/18/2017

After significant snowfall in Dover earlier this week, and with wet snow in the forecast today, Dover Fire Chief Eric Hagman reminds residents to monitor their roofs for excessive snow, and clear snow if necessary. Roofs with heavy snow can be at risk of collapsing.

Hagman recommends clearing excessive snow from roofs. For those not able or uncomfortable removing snow, Hagman suggests consulting with a roofing company or properly insured contractor. 

Dover Fire and Rescue urges property owners to monitor roofs for excessive snow

posted on: 2/15/2017; updated: 2/18/2017

After significant snowfall in Dover earlier this week, and with wet snow in the forecast today, Dover Fire Chief Eric Hagman reminds residents to monitor their roofs for excessive snow, and clear snow if necessary. Roofs with heavy snow can be at risk of collapsing.

Hagman recommends clearing excessive snow from roofs. For those not able or uncomfortable removing snow, Hagman suggests consulting with a roofing company or properly insured contractor.

A roof may collapse with little or no warning, Hagman added, and one common misconception is that only flat roofs are susceptible to collapse. High roof parapets can accumulate significant drifting snow, especially during wind events. The following warning signs could indicate a roof is in danger of collapsing:

  • Sagging roof steel – visually deformed;
  • Severe or new roof leaks;
  • Cracked or split wood members;
  • Bends or ripples in metal supports;
  • Recent cracks in walls, drywall or masonry;
  • Cracks in welds of steel construction;
  • Sheared off screws from steel frames;
  • Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles;
  • Doors that pop open;
  • Doors or windows that are difficult to open;
  • Bowed utility pipes or conduits attached to the ceiling;
  • Creaking, cracking or popping sounds.

Hagman said property owners should also check roof drains and gutters and make sure they are clear of snow and ice.

Dover Fire and Rescue would like to remind residents that firefighters and the Community Services Department shovel out hydrants during each storm, and appreciate any help clearing the snow from around the fire hydrants. Fire hydrants can become buried and are difficult to find during emergencies where seconds count. Please help Dover Fire and Rescue make sure all of the fire hydrants in the City are clear of snow and ice, saving valuable time during an emergency.

In addition, please help the City keep walkways clear of snow. Sidewalks and walkways remain in use in all weather conditions. During winter months, residents must be able to safely use public sidewalks, including children walking to school.

For more information about fire and building safety, call Dover Fire and Rescue at 516-6148.