Cleaning Up After The Snow Storm

Tuesday, December 5th 2006, 2:45 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma’s record snowfall is weighting heavy on roofs across the state, some are collapsing, other caving in and leaking. News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says restoration companies are working around the clock trying to prevent damage from the heavy snow and ice when they can, and cleaning up the soggy situation when it’s too late.

"The ice freezes multiple layers and then thaws during the day and refreezes and causes the water as it thaws to leak back into the structure itself," said Burggraf Restoration’s Andy Tiefenthaler.

They call it ice damming, and when it finally gives way the effects can be disastrous.

“It's just the type of shingles we have in this area aren't designed to hold water, they're designed to repel water and run it off,” Tiefenthaler said.

Crews are using hot water to speed up the natural melting process, then shoveling the excess off the roof.

Restoration companies have been flooded with calls since the storm hit, for leaking roofs and worse.

"It's an incredible amount of weight added to the structure and it can cause structural problems as well as the water that leaks into the building," said Tiefenthaler.

Restoration workers say the problem is flat roofs simply aren't designed to handle such a heavy load of ice and snow, and you can find them on homes and businesses all over Tulsa.

It wasn't the weight of the snow that ruined a Glenpool home, "I saw water running down the driveway and thought, oh mercy, something bad has happened."

Homeowner Eula Ward was right.

“Water was absolutely everywhere."

The freezing temperatures burst the main water pipe just a few feet below Ward's snow laden roof.

"And at that point the ceiling was just hanging," said Ward.

The home was filled with standing water, crews are trying to dry it out and save what they can.

“I had no idea it was gonna get this cold and last so long," Ward said.

Workers say the problem's not going away anytime soon.

"Until we get this ice thawed off. Most of the problem is not the fact that we can't mediate the damage in the home or the structure, it's that the ice isn't going away quick enough," Tiefenthaler said.

Of course Tuesday’s sunshine and a bit warmer temperatures helped some.

Burggraf Restoration has had about 70 calls since Thursday, other restoration companies say it's the same for their crews, and the calls just keep coming.