Snow stress on roofs

Klamath Falls, Ore. – You’ve already shoveled your sidewalk, and your driveway – but you might need to look up to see your next snow removal project.

Crews are already busy at Oregon Tech removing snow from rooftops.

Nabil Taha of Precision Structural Engineering says as a general rule, most roofs are safe with about 12 inches of snow.  “Beyond the one foot, start thinking about removing the snow.”

A foot of snow weighs about 15 pounds per square foot.

Taha says that doubles to 30 pounds per square foot once the snow freezes.  “If it rain on the snow, that’s when the weight really become maximum – about 60 pounds per foot.”

Entrance overhangs and covered parking shelters are at particular risk.

Taha adds that if you listen closely, your home may already be giving you some warning signs.  “The ceiling might crack, or the doors start to be jammed – that’s all sign that the roof is loaded more than it should.”

A ‘roof rake’ is one way to help reduce the load of snow.

Taha cautions that not taking action now may come at a higher price later.  “Removing the snow, it costs money, yes – but much cheaper than repairing your roof if it is damaged.”

Many older homes were designed to lose enough heat through the roof to aid in snow melt.

If you’ve insulated the attic, that will lower heating costs – but could put your roof at risk.

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle's job history is quite colorful. 

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

"The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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