Carl Dunham: Snow loads risky

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I feel that it is important to set the record straight. We are concerned about the quote in the (Feb. 12) paper stating there are 35-40 pounds of snow on roofs in Steamboat Springs. That number came from (building official Ted Allen) checking his own home and may not have a great bearing on the weight of snow in other areas of the city and county. We monitor the Snotel sites regularly, and we feel that the snow weight is approximately 80 percent of design load.

Design load is the code requirement we use for roof structures based on location and elevation of the site. Ted and I are both concerned that the information in the newspaper may give a false sense of security to homeowners.

There are many factors to be considered like eave loading, ice damming, valley locations, wind loading, unbalanced loads, impact loads from roofs above, etc. Our recommendation for owners is, if you are worried about the load on your roof, you should consider your options to prevent structural and/or water damage.

For more information, call the Routt County Regional Building Department at 870-5566.

Carl Dunham

Routt County Regional Building Department

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