Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Roof Collapses Predictable in Record Snowy Winter

10.02.2011
A structural engineering professor at the University of New Hampshire is available to discuss two hazards of this season’s record snowfalls: roof collapses and ice dams.

Ray Cook, assistant professor of civil engineering at UNH, can discuss the science behind this winter’s many roof collapses and give advice for preventing them.

Ray Cook is available at (603) 862-1411 or ray.cook@unh.edu.

As near-record snowfalls blanket the northeast, snow and ice loads are threatening the structural integrity of residential and industrial roofs. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has received reports of more than 80 roof collapses or potential structural damage to buildings within the past week; in New Hampshire Sunday, a barn roof collapse killed two cows and trapped a dozen others.

“We have had higher-than-normal snowfall this year, without the melting periods between storms we usually have,” says Cook, who notes that this winter is among the snowiest on record. Further, the high moisture content of the snow, compounded by rain over this past weekend, has made for much denser and heavier snow loads.

When buildings are designed, Cook explains, engineers use a calculated weight of snow on the ground in the particular area and then design the roof so the chance of snow exceeding that limit is one in 50 years. Roof pitch and surface – whether snow is likely to slip off or not – are also taken into account. Most residential structures, however, are not subject to this level of engineering, and industrial structures are usually built exactly to, and not beyond, these specifications.

Cook, whose engineering expertise lets him estimate that he has hand-shoveled 50 tons of snow from his own home on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border, recommends that homeowners who can safely remove snow from the ground with a roof rake do so regularly, not letting the snow build up. Ice dams, which occur when melted snow runs down the roof to the eaves, where it freezes and causes water to back up under the shingles, can be temporarily addressed by melting the ice with road salt or hot water. When ice damming is a recurring problem, the roof should be inspected and modified to allow for better ventilation.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

Beth Potier | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.unh.edu

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Magnetic liquids improve energy efficiency of buildings
16.01.2018 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Insulating bricks with microscopic bubbles
16.01.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>