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 New, forward-looking report outlines research path to sustainable cities
24.01.2018 | National Science Foundation

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

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: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Why we need erasable MRI scans

26.04.2018 | Medical Engineering

Balancing nuclear and renewable energy

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Researchers 3-D print electronics and cells directly on skin

26.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>