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      Don't let winter cause your roof to collapse

      Roof collapses are a scary possibility. It happens when high snow accumulation pushes a structure to its breaking point.

      Warning signs include doors and windows not shutting properly or cracked dry wall. Dan Perkins, owner of Dan Perkins Construction, said ice is the real culprit behind the collapses.

      "If you're building ice, you can tell: you'll have icicles and big dams forming. That's going to cause problems because that builds up water behind those dams and that gets into your house," explained Perkins. "If you see water coming into your house, you need to remove those ice dams."

      Perkins said better insulation and ventilation can help. If it's just snow, he says most Upper Michigan homes can take it.

      "In this U.P., we've got 68 pounds per square foot dead loads rated right in our building codes," Perkins said.

      Gary Niemela, owner of Skandia Truss, feels homeowners should always keep an eye out.

      "There are roofs with two feet of snow that could have a problem; it depends on what your design criteria was," said Niemela.

      He says homeowners should pay attention if their roof has three feet or more of snow.

      "As the weather starts warming up, we can start getting rains and snow will suck up the rain and add to the weight," Niemela explained.

      He finished by saying it's time homeowners shovel their roof. "Hire a professional or if you do it yourself, be safe."