Nagy speaks with BDN about dangers of snow on roofs

Edwin Nagy, a lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Maine, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News for the article, “Why the snow load on your roof should never be taken for granted.” Snow load is the downward force on a building’s roof caused by the weight of accumulated snow and ice, according to the article. “Modern buildings are designed with snow load in mind,” Nagy said. “How much snow load a building can take depends on engineering, how it was built and whether the roof is heated or unheated.” Regardless of design or structure, once that snow load is exceeded, the building is in danger of collapse, said Nagy, who explained ways to calculate the weight of snow load. “There are a lot of issues with snow on roofs,” he said. “It can create ice dams and cause leaks that then can create hidden structural damage in the upper parts of a building.” The most important factor in protecting a roof is to keep as much snow off of it as possible by shoveling or using a roof rake, said Nagy, who also recommends keeping a roof and supporting beams in good condition, and not waiting to make repairs. Fiddlehead Focus also published the BDN article.