After three weeks of intense snowfall, the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs are seeing the consequences, as a series of roof collapses have been reported across the region, leaving some business owners and homeowners with grave concerns.
On Wednesday, multiple roof failures took place. In one instance, a canopy collapse left a man dead and another person injured outside of an off-track betting facility in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood.
In South Holland, near 166th and State Street, an industrial complex saw a roof collapse, with damage visible all around the site.
Earlier this week in Palos Park, an equestrian center suffered a roof collapse, and although officials say no one was hurt and no animals were injured, the building might be unsalvageable due to the damage caused.
With those collapses, companies are dealing with an influx of concerned callers, aiming to see if they can somehow get the so-called “ice dams” cleared from their rooftops.
While experts advise residents not to get on their roofs to try to clear off the snow themselves, there are other things that can be done, including the use of roof rakes and other techniques.
“Do not go up on the roofs,” Chicago Department of Buildings Commissioner Matthew Beaudet said. “It is not safe. You don’t know what’s underneath the snow. We don’t want anyone falling through a roof or off a roof.”
Once the snow begins to melt, experts advise residents and business owners to schedule roof inspections to help ensure that any damage is documented and repaired. Residents are also advised to make sure that their gutters remain clean of debris, so that snow can melt from the roof and be safely carried away into the ground next to your homes.