CALLAWAY COUNTY - As the third round of mid-Missouri snow passes through the area some residents of Callaway County have had a first hand experience of dealing with snow damage to roofs in their homes, businesses, and barns.
The Lighthouse Theater in Callaway County was fortunate enough to have snow insurance coverage on their building, but now another questions remains, how did a pre-engineered building collapse?
One of the biggest issues with the snow storms of late February was the weight of the snow on top of buildings. James Jarman, Callaway County Agronomy Specialist for the Central Region of the University of Missouri Extension, said the construction of roofs in mid-Missouri is one of the biggest problems for snow related building damage.
"The way in which the roofs are built in mid-Missouri is usually flat roofs, especially for barns, therefore the snow just sits. Some buildings in this area are built with a slope in the roof, which helps because the snow falls down the roof."
By the time the second round of snow was done falling the University of Missouri South Farm weighed the snow that was on top of the farm scale. The scale is about 1,000 square feet in diameter, and the snow on top of the scale weighed 13,000 pounds. That is equivalent to two pick up trucks being on top of roofs across Callaway County.
Fulton State Farm Insurance Agent, Don Woodson, said the weight of the snow is the hardest on roofs of small homes when it just sits.
"People don't realize just how heavy the snow really is on the roof. It can lead to serious problems because it is hard for them to get it off of those flat roofs," said Woodson.
Woodson also went on to say that the weight of the snow has affected some homes and barns throughout Callaway County. Now while some people are cleaning up from the damage others are thinking about their insurance coverage.
"Some people see their neighbors roof collapse and then they sadly have to see their neighbors get turned down for insurance because they weren't covered. Then all of a sudden it turns into a personal problem and they want to know if they are properly covered," Woodson said.
Woodson recommends that people meet with their insurance agent to check on their snow coverage and potentially storm coverage too as the spring and summer storm time approaches.
If you're thinking of building a new barn or building in mid-Missouri the agricultural engineering program at MU offers floor plans and building code information for ways in which roofs can be designed to hold snow.