Get Your Roof Rakes Out

Real Estate Agent with Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities #1 in Forest Land Mgmt

Get Your Roof Rakes Outsnow

We have been having a pretty good winter this year and a blog that I read yesterday by Sheila Anderson reminded me of a winter event from over 35 years ago when I was still in high school.

It was a good winter similar to the one that we are enjoying this year, though we were having a challenge finding places to pile the snow we never considered shoveling off any roofs, on many buildings it was considered to be useful as a layer of insulation and we trusted that our buildings were well built and designed to handle heavy loads of snow.

One day as I was preparing for the evening milking of our cows, I was filling the mangers with sileage so that the cows would have plenty to eat when they came into the barn in an hour.

The silo unloader generally worked a little slower than I did so as it built up a pile of sileage at the base of the silo, I waited until enough piled up for a few wheelbarrow loads and took a break to step outside and enjoy the cool air and practice throwing snowballs.

As I was turning to go back into the barn, I heard a loud snap behind me, this caused me to quickly turn around toward our smaller machine shed just in time to hear another “Snap, Snap, Snap” as another couple dozen rafters snapped just seconds before the roof whooshed in, and the walls exploded outwards with a gust of dust, snow, and wood splinters.

Its not often that you get to be there for a dramatic 30 seconds that move in slow motion. It left me counting my blessings that nobody happened to be working in that shed as it happened.  At the speed of this collapse, it would have been impossible to get out in time.snow

We did have a few calves in one end of the shed, fortunately some of the equipment kept that part of the roof up a bit and the calves were laying down so none were injured or killed.

We did not have many valuable machines in this shed because it was old and the doors were to short for our best tractors and machinery, we did have one tractor, a corn planter and a grain drill in here along with a lot of small tools.

The tractor came out with only a bent steering wheel that would serve as a reminder of this day for decades, and the other tools and equipment sustained only minor injuries.

The next summer the shed was burned and buried and late that fall after the corn was harvested the neighbors all came over to help us build a new shed with a stronger roof.


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Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I bet that is a story that you never forget Bob. Thank goodness there were no serious injuries,

Feb 23, 2014 05:04 PM #1
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Bob. We lost a building at out farm many years ago. Once that happens you have a different respect for how much weight is up on these roofs. Our rakes are ready to go.

Make it a great week!

Feb 23, 2014 05:18 PM #2
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy and morning Bob

Bob my AR friend, I was findly able to get the last of the big snow off the roofs of the house, barn and our 3 sheds over the weekend.

Happiness sure is Homemade
Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Feb 23, 2014 09:04 PM #3
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I am so glad no calves were harmed!  YOU know me, thinking animals first LOL...

Feb 23, 2014 09:17 PM #4
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi Bob, enjoyed your story telling as usual. I'm a big fan of those steep, metal roofs that generally keep heavy snow from piling up on them. Otherwise, good reminder to keep roof free of heavy snow layers. 

Feb 23, 2014 11:48 PM #5
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Bob,

I do not currently live in an area where there is snow but this is good information for the future. We have to get our eaves cleaned out as there is a lot of leaves and maybe a nest or two before the rain starts soon. Every area has its issues!

Feb 24, 2014 12:26 AM #6
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference


I can hear the roof snapping and see the devastation. I am so glad nobody was in the shed and that your calves were all safe. What a great community effort during the rebuilding process. 

Feb 24, 2014 02:05 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Bob. So thankfully, no one was hurt. I am glad to read the whole story and thanks for the shout out.

Feb 24, 2014 03:00 AM #8
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

v The shed I had burn down was just a lean to type.  I had one rafter crack one year after we had 2 feet on top of it.

But when I looked at the rafter, there was a big knot in that board  and that is where it cracked.

I won't shovel a roof unless I see an ice dam or we have a lot of snow and the forecast is for an inch of rain or so.  Then, I may do some strategic snow removal.

Roday's building codes require a roof to withstand 35 pounds Per square foot.

That is a lot of weight and then if you have acenter wall it will hold even more.

Feb 24, 2014 05:28 AM #9
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
30 Years of Real Estate Experience!

Bob, wow, what a story! So glad those calves were safe. I just had my roof shoveled a few days ago.

Feb 24, 2014 08:16 AM #10
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Personally, I like a nice steep roof pitch, metal roofing and a little overkill in the roof trusses..

Feb 24, 2014 12:37 PM #11
Nicholas Crane
Woodland Companies - Cadott, WI
Managing & Appraising Forest Land

Thanks for sharing these reports, our clients gain value from of this type of information.


Apr 08, 2020 12:40 AM #12
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Bob Crane

Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671
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