Yesterday during my commute to work I heard a news story that said that there have been over 70 roof collapses in Massachusetts do to all the snow. The majority of these roofs were flat roofs like the ones used on commercial and many municipal buildings. An earlier report mentioned some retail stores that were closed due to stress cracks in the walls from all the weight on the roof. Why do we even have flat roofs? I've never understood this. I remember when I was a kid in school it seemed like work was always being done to fix a leaky roof. Of course all the schools I went to had flat roofs.
I'm not an architect, roofer, or structural engineer so maybe I'm wrong here but pitched roofs just seem to make a hell of a lot more sense. Rain and melting snow can actually run off of a pitched roof. I remember the school janitor having to shovel snow off the school's flat roof.
An obviously that is big part of the problem with the collapsed roofs, with all the snowfall it's more important than ever for building owners to make sure that the icy, slushy, heavy snow is removed off the roofs. That hasn't been happening but obviously now there's a lot of renewed vigilance to see that its done. And I'm sure while workers work to clear the snow they can't wait for spring.