Snow Removal Efforts on School Roofs

As you know, over the last month, we have received over 100 inches of snow in the Greater Boston area.  One of the major concerns with this much snow is always the effect that the additional weight may have on our school roofs.  Our facilities department has spent a significant amount of time mitigating potential snow issues on the school roofs. As a result the department has been proactive during weekends, February vacation and after each snowstorm in monitoring and removing snow from the roofs in the district; paying close attention to the most critical areas and buildings in the district. These areas include large flat roofs, transition and drifting areas and areas surrounding rooftop equipment.

Our efforts were and continue to be daily monitoring of the structures in the district. These efforts include building walks and checks both internally and externally for any signs of damage or structural issues. Of particular areas to investigate externally include: North – facing elevation changes & drift walls for excessive build up of ice and snow, roof top equipment, flat areas of roof and changes in roof heights where drifts can accumulate. Internal building walks look for the following: sprinkler heads that have pushed below ceiling tiles, displaced ceiling tiles or hanging light fixtures, sticking or jamming doors/ cabinets, bent or displaced sprinkler lines, sagging roof insulation and or serious roof leaks.

In addition, during the last two weeks our staff in conjunction with external roofing contractors and other external vendor resources reviewed the areas noted above and systematically removed snow from the buildings in the district which presented the most critical. Those buildings that did not have dedicated staff on the roof, did have dedicated staff removing snow and ice with roof rakes to alleviate any concern with the low risk buildings.   Each and every school in the district was treated for snow removal either from the ground or with staff on the roofs.

As with any storm and with wind in the forecast, drifts can re-accumulate in those high risk areas. As a result we are having our custodial & maintenance staffs continually monitor the buildings and the roofs for any increased areas that need to be addressed.

If you have any questions or concerns about the roofs, please contact your child’s building principal or the Reading Public Schools Facility Department at 781-944-5800.

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