Snow causes collapse of several P.E.I. roofs
With snowfall on P.E.I. well above average in December, many homeowners are growing concerned about the weight accumulating on their roofs.
You can look for signs that your roof may be at its limits.- Frank Lohmann, National Research Council
Well over a metre of snow has fallen on P.E.I. this month.
The roof on one of the main potato warehouses at Souris's Rollo Bay Holdings collapsed on Boxing Day.
Owner Ray Keenan said it contained about two million kilograms of potatoes.
"Some of these buildings have been around for 30 or 40 years and this is the first time I have ever seen anything like this — and the buildings are in good condition. You know they have good roofs on them and everything but it's just a chain of events here, the excessive snow load and weight," he said.
Keenan said steps were taken to secure the building and the potatoes were being removed Monday. The building was insured.
Also in eastern PEI, part of the roof of the old rink in Souris collapsed and the roof of an old rink in St.Georges collapsed.
There are businesses that offer snow removal but experts say it's good to do a bit of research before you decide if your roof needs shovelling.
Frank Lohmann, an adviser on housing at the National Research Council in Ottawa, said homeowners should try to find out what snow load your home is designed to handle, and monitor it.
"You can look for signs that your roof may be at its limits," said Lohmann.
"If you see cracks that occur, or if you hear funny noises that you're not used to after a big snowfall, or even if you open a door and the door jams. Those are all signs of structural effects of the snow pressing down on the roof."
Building codes for the city of Charlottetown require roofs to be able to handle 56 pounds (24 kilograms) per square foot (0.1 square metres).
City officials say people should not be getting up on their roofs unless they are qualified to do the work. Roof shovelling can be dangerous and requires safety equipment to prevent falls.