With warmer temperatures expected to interrupt the typical chilly January weather, this is as good a time as any to make sure your building's roof is ready for the next big snowstorm.   

With warmer temperatures expected to interrupt the typical chilly January weather, this is as good a time as any to make sure your building's roof is ready for the next big snowstorm.   

OneBeacon Insurance, a Canton, Mass.-based property insurer, offers a number of recommendations for property owners to follow in order to prevent their homes or commercial buildings from being damaged or collapsing under the weight of snow and ice.    


Some of the tips should be followed before a storm hits, while others should be followed once the storm arrives.   


- Review the roof's design to be certain it can support the weight of snow, ice and water. Look for weaknesses and reinforce it if necessary, particularly where increased weight from drifting snow is likely.


- Always make sure your gutters, drains and downspouts are clear and in good condition. 


- Determine a safe snow depth for the roof and plan to begin removing snow once snow accumulation reaches half that depth.      


- For bigger buildings, develop a snow-removal plan that includes overhangs, canopies and skylights. Assign individuals to be responsible for snow monitoring and snow removal, and be ready to put the plan into effect immediately in a windy snowstorm.   


- Monitor the condition of the roof during a heavy snowstorm and look for any leaks or structural deficiencies that develop.


- Clear leaves, snow, ice, silt and other debris from gutters, drains and downspouts during and after the storm. 


- Consider hiring a contractor remove all the snow from every roof surface after a storm.    


- Verify that the drains are clear of ice and snow to allow melting and runoff. If the roof is pitched and without drains, open paths to the eaves to ensure drainage and to prevent ponding.  


- Avoid ice dams by keeping the attic well-ventilated so snow doesn't melt and refreeze at the roof's edge.     


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