Aspen roofs " to shovel, or not to shovel? | AspenTimes.com
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Aspen roofs " to shovel, or not to shovel?

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” City officials are trying to help Aspen residents decide whether to shovel snow off of their roofs, saying that as a rough estimate, local roofs could be holding about 58 pounds per square foot of snow.

Based on the Aspen Water Department’s precipitation data, the city of Aspen received 138.14 inches of snow from Nov. 1, 2007, through Feb. 5, 2008, equaling 11.17 inches of water. One cubic foot of water weights 62.4 pounds.

“Not taking into account evaporation, that means local buildings are holding just shy of one cubic foot of water per square foot,” said City of Aspen Chief Building Officer Stephen Kanipe. “As a rough estimate, that means roofs are holding about 58 pounds per square foot.”

Modern building design codes calls for a roof snow-load of 75 pounds per square foot; however roof snow-load designs in Aspen may range from 45 pounds per square foot to 75 pounds. Many manufactured homes are only designed for 30 pounds per square foot.

“With more snow on the way, we might eventually reach our modern building design code of 75 pounds per square foot,” Kanipe said.

The city is advising residents to consider the capacity of their roofs when making the decision to remove snow. The potential dangers of shoveling or raking snow from a roof could include damaging the roofing material and structure or suffering bodily injury. If your structure is in question, the city advises that it is best to consult a licensed engineer.

For more information, contact Kanipe at 429-2766.


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