Melting Snow And Ice Causing Dangers On Roofs

A new problem has arisen from all the snow and ice that has piled up through the month of February. With temperatures above freezing at last, it's starting to melt - and it’s crashing down in the worst possible ways. CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reports.

Video Transcript

- A new problem from all that snow and ice. Now it's starting to melt and crashing down in the worst possible ways.

- CBS 2's Charlie De Mar takes us to the burbs, where one homeowner figured that out the hard way.

CHARLIE DE MAR: Yeah, we have shown you how the weight of the snow can collapse roofs. But the melting snow now comes with its own set of problems.

A bright sign this winter: the snow is starting to melt.

MARKO POPOVIC: You can see all the glass and fragments have shatter-- that's shattered.

CHARLIE DE MAR: Overnight, a massive sheet of snow and ice slid off Marko Popovic's solar panels.

MARKO POPOVIC: I heard a rumbling, almost felt like a mini-earthquake or, like, a train coming by the house.

CHARLIE DE MAR: The heavy snow crashed down on Popovic's cars, smashing the windshield on one and landing square on the roof of the other.

MARKO POPOVIC: This car, if you look on the top, it's got a caved-in roof.

CHARLIE DE MAR: So this all came from the roof?

MARKO POPOVIC: This all came from the roof.

ADAM PERRI Snow and ice can fall off the roof, even if there's no solar panels on it, and it can still cause damage.

CHARLIE DE MAR: Adam Perri with Wind Free Solar says snow and ice tend to slide right off the slick panels. He suggests installing guards to prevent damage.

MARKO POPOVIC: And it was like [VOCALIZING]. I was like, what the hell was that?

CHARLIE DE MAR: The weather caused this roof collapse at Harrison and Colmar in Chicago. In River Forest, a chunk of ice broke a gas meter regulator. Gas leaked into several homes. The melting snow in Skokie might make pretty icicles, but ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, even cause water to back up into homes. And in Evanston, the weight of the ice tore down power lines. Back in Hoffman Estates--

MARKO POPOVIC: I was kind of a little worried about the roof collapsing, but I didn't think that it was going to collapse my car. But at least nobody got hurt.

CHARLIE DE MAR: And as tempting as it may be to go up there and try and clear some of the snow from your roof, fire departments are urging you not to. Get a roof rake, try and clear some of it safely from the ground, hire a professional, but do not go up on your roof. Reporting from Hoffman Estates, Charlie De Mar, CBS 2 News.