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Protect Your Roof this Winter

Last year the Midwest received an abnormal amount of snowfall and rain along with strong winds. The wind piled ice and snow in large drifts on the barns roofs that exceeded the rafters designed load.

Number 1 rule to protect your buildings during the upcoming winter season? PROMPTLY REMOVE THE SNOW AND ICE FROM YOUR BUILDINGS!

Snow on Building

A rafter that has a 25 lb snow load is overloaded with only 15 inches of wet/heavy snow or 5 ½” of ice.   Even a snowfall of only a couple inches can cause problems because of drifting snow.  It cannot be stressed enough, remove all snow from roofs immediately to prevent an accumulation that may cause roofs to fail.

In addition to removing the snow and ice promptly you can also protect your building’s roofs by following the guidelines below before the winter season.

Check List and Winter Inspection for Swine Facilities

(A)   Check to see that all trusses are in plane (sitting vertical and not leaning or out of square to the connected walls and lateral braces) and that there are no bowed or broken trusses.

(B)   Check to see that all metal plates are intact and that they do not show any signs of stress (cracks, twisting, or pulling away from the lumber).

(C)   Check to see that all web members are not bowed or broken.

(D)   Make sure that all lateral braces are intact and are not loose and that nails have not pulled away.

(E)    Select areas in the building and rake the insulation back and check the bottom cord lateral braces and make sure that they are intact.

(F)    Look for areas in the barn and attic that may show moisture (inspect ceiling insulation for evidence of roof leaks).

(G)  Check ridge caps and eave inlets for missing closure strips (it is crucial that buildings do not accumulate any snow in the attic).  Close any summer air inlet doors.

(H)  Keep snow from drifting up against the sidewalls of the buildings.

(I)     Remove snow promptly from roofs.

(J)     Do not pile snow under or by eave.

(K)   Check gable end where fans are hung for pulled or broken boards.

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