Winter storm raises the threat of roof collapses

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - The first winter storm of the year in the Greater Toronto Area, featuring heavy snow followed by significant rain fall - raises the threat of roof collapses, particularly on commercial buildings with flat roofs, says roofing expert Craig Bennett, Deputy Director of Avenue Road Roofing.

"When you have a heavy snowfall followed immediately by a significant amount of rain, a lot of weight is added to a roof," notes Mr. Bennett. "Some roofs can't take the extra weight and collapse, leading to significant property damage and, in the worst cases, personal injury, as well."

Additional problems can develop when there is a sudden freeze, which is forecast for the GTA. "Any standing water on a flat roof can freeze, leading to blockages of drains and the addition of more weight the roof must bear." Ice formation on a flat roof can also cause tears or fissures in the membrane, resulting in water leaks. Prompt removal of excess snow and ice limits this risk and may be a condition of insurance coverage.

Homeowners should take care when it comes to removing snow or ice from a roof, cautions Mr. Bennett. "Only roofing professionals, with proper training, equipment and insurance, should be involved in snow and ice removal from a home roof," explains Mr. Bennett.

Other tips for homeowners include:

    -   Make sure heating cable systems are deployed, operating properly and
        pose no electrical hazards resulting from nicks in the cable or poor
    -   Clear a three-foot area around the perimeter of sloping roofs to
        allow proper run-off when roof snow melts


For further information: For further information: Craig Bennett by email ( or phone ((416) 785-5129); Avenue Road Roofing, 45 Wingold Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6B 1P8, Tel: (416) 785-5129, Fax: (416) 785-6485,

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