Heavy Snow - the threat
due to the excessive weight of ice or glaze 

Industry leader fearing that a wave of roof collapses similar to that experienced in 2019 could occur again in 2024

January 2024

Building owners and managers urged to be extremely vigilant in the face of the threat of roof subsidence or collapse due to the excessive weight of ice or glaze from the first snowfall of 2024.

(Blainville, January 16 , 2024) -  Fearing that a wave of roof collapses similar to that experienced in 2019 could occur in the short term, due to the over mutiplication of the natural weight of the heavy snow that has fallen in recent days, Quebec's largest roofer, Toitures Hogue, today urged owners of commercial, industrial and/or institutional buildings to be cautious and pro active, especially as meteorologists are predicting the possibility of freezing rain over the next few days, which will transform heavy, wet snow into freezing rain.

"It's vital to detect early the warning signs of a possible roof collapse, which can infallibly lead to major damage to an entire building," said company president Jocelyn Hogue today. In addition to financial losses, he pointed to the direct consequences of civil lawsuits from building users whose safety could have been compromised by a lack of preventive maintenance in the circumstances. For him, warning signs such as cracks in interior walls, interior doors that suddenly jam, creaking noises coming from all over the shell of a building and even minor deformation of a ceiling are all critical signs that should not be overlooked.

The company leader went on to point out that for every square foot of roof, a depth of accumulated snow adds an additional weight of 56 pounds per cubic foot of snow to a roof's load bearing capacity, and 65 pounds when transformed into water.

"Such situations can be catastrophic for a building owner or manager," continued Mr. Hogue, for whom, in addition to legal issues, major economic impacts could arise from the refusal of some insurers to pay financial compensation under insurance contracts, due to the negligence of owners and managers.

According to Mr. Hogue, prevention and pro-action remain the key to a win win situation, given that replacement costs could become astronomical, considering the reconstruction of a building, its contents, the value of any vehicles inside, and the loss of profits and revenue in the case of a factory, manufacturing plant, business or medical clinic, for example.

It is all the more important, concludes the company president, to plan and carry out snow removal quickly in these times of climate change and capricious weather, and not to entrust the task to just anyone, at the risk of causing further damage such as cracks  that would hide disastrous water infiltration with the frost when spring returns and the weather is mild.