Firefighters issue warning about all that snow on your roof

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jan 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 23:35:48-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- More than a foot of snow piled up in certain areas of Central Virginia, so Henrico County firefighters warn the weight of snow accumulation adds an extra load to your roof.  One square foot of snow can weigh as much as 21 pounds, which be up to 12 tons of extra weight on a 1,000 square foot house, according to fire officials.

It is a good idea to know the warning signs of an over stressed roof:

  • Sagging structural supports
  • Strange popping or crackling sounds inside a home
  • Doors that no longer shut
  • New cracks in appearing in walls

If you notice these signs, firefighters said you should contact a structural engineer, and if things get bad enough, exit your home and contact 911.  The one thing you should not do is try to remove snow from your roof on your own.  Officials said only roofing professionals should attempt snow removal from a roof because of how dangerous it is.

Falling structures due to the snow

Several high-profile structures across Virginia have fallen or toppled over due to heavy snow accumulation.

The indoor dome facility at S.C.O.R (Sports Center of Richmond) in north Richmond collapsed around 6 p.m. Saturday night because of ice accumulation.  The dome, which used to be visible from I-95, housed several indoor fields where hundreds of kids and adults played sports like soccer and lacrosse during winter months.  Mark Grossman, S.C.O.R.'s owner, wrote on Facebook about the dome collapse.

"Our dome has survived and thrived for over nine years, but the combination of snow, then ice, and then the heavy snow and wind yesterday proved too much to withstand," said Grossman.  "The timing of this storm definitely could have been better.  We will come out of this bigger and better, but will definitely need everyone's understanding and support."

S.C.O.R (Sports Complex of Richmond)

S.C.O.R (Sports Complex of Richmond)

A similar scene developed in Ashburn, VA at the Washington Redskin's indoor training facility.  Their dome deflated; however, officials said they would be able to re-inflate it once the snow and ice were cleared, according a news release by the team.

Redskins Indoor Training Facility

Redskins Indoor Training Facility

In Matthews County, Virginia, the roof of historic Donk's Theater, which opened in 1947, caved in because of snow, ice, wind, and the age of the building.

Historic Donk's Theater

Historic Donk's Theater

Friday in Eastern Henrico, the awning covering gas pumps at the Danco convenience store on Williamsburg Road collapsed under the weight of snow and ice.  No one was injured, and the store will be closed through at least Monday.