16 Comment

  • Wow. Did the ones that fell have brick columns too?

  • Not an expert here, but I’m guessing this was not column failure. The likely candidates are (1) rotted beams which would lead to an asymmetric a load and possible collapse, or (2) damaged plate that attaches the back to the house, which could cause collapse from the back.

    • There are no plates at the porch roof joist to house connection. The joists are simply pocketed into the brick. I’m not sure there’s much to resist a lateral load other than the friction of the mortar in the pocket.

      • Our porch definitely has one. That may not be the case for all houses, but all the houses on our block and many in the neighborhood have a plate.

    • I was just up there — looks like one fell straight off the building, because there was no ledger board and the beams were indeed just pocketed into the brick. That’s the one closest in the photo above. The other porch looks like the main span split under the load (the wood looked rotten) to me, and the lateral forces took out the brick columns, which got thrown into the yard. I bet it was loud!

  • Saw quite a few awnings down as well.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Haven’t seen any actual porch collapses here, but the awning across the street from me is down as well. It appeared to have about 4 feet of wind-blown snow piled up on it before it fell.

  • Should I try to shovel off my porch roof? That seems like it might be worse (adding the stress of 130 lbs in one location)

  • You need to get one of these to get the snow off without having to go up on the roof.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/True-Temper-17-ft-Snow-Roof-Rake-1634500/100325744

    • HaileUnlikely

      Yes, I have one of these and used it today. I have a pitched roof, not a flat roof, but the crazy wind yesterday resulted in a massive snowdrift on the south-facing part of my roof. I was able to take it down considerably with my roof rake. Don’t get overzealous and start yanking at snow that is stuck – if it is really frozen on, you might tear off a piece of your roof – it works best when the snow is still powdery and fresh.

  • Wow. That is really scary.

  • The porches that are slanted porches tend to fair a bit better, especially as snow melts. The water weight flows down instead of remaining on the roof trapped tween snow/icy compacted areas.

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