In the last two weeks alone, over 72 inches of snow has fallen on the city of Boston. As residents continue to dig out, the city remains under a snow emergency with nowhere to put the mountains of fallen snow. Businesses, schools, government and public transportation systems have all been shut down as everyone waits for the snow to be removed from the past three blizzards. While streets and sidewalks are first to be cleared, the heavy snow on area roofs hasn’t gone anywhere.

Reports of roof collapse in Hingham and Rockford have already been cited on the news and one school district closed due to the risk of possible collapses at building sites. As snow melts slightly and refreezes, the snow pack becomes more dense and heavy over time. The city of Boston has posted information on their website with tips for home and business owners regarding roof safety and potential damage. While it’s noted that most roof structures are engineered to hold the weight of current snow totals, additional accumulation coupled with ice damns can be cause for concern.

Roofing contractors are already inundated with calls from home and business owners who are experiencing water damage. Complaints of flooding through ceilings and lighting fixtures are aplenty. Flat roofs that have had a history of pooling water are of particular concern and measures should be taken to remove mounting snow as soon as possible. Because the snow can be extremely heavy, and potentially dangerous to remove, officials are advising that professionals be called in for the job. While it may seem that removing all existing snow is ideal, experts say that leaving 2-3 inches of snow is most beneficial so that shingles remain intact without damage.