Snow cause of Holland Twp. roof collapse

Snow on the roof at The Stow Company in Holland Township. (Jan. 27, 2014)

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Piled up snow was the cause of partial roof collapse Monday morning at a Holland Township business.

It happened at The Stow Company at 3311 Windquest Dr. before 10:30 a.m. The Stow Company manufactures organization solutions for the home, according to the company’s website.

“There’s an accumulation of snow primarily from the wind which blows it all into the corner of the roof,” Chief Executive Officer Frank Newman said.

According to Newman, the roof collapsed over the employee lunchroom.

“The rest of the plant is fine. It’s just one section of the office area,” he said.

The business was evacuated. No one was injured in the incident, but employees will not be allowed to return inside until the area is deemed safe.

A similar incident happened at the Haworth plant in Saugatuck over the weekend. According to officials, part of the roof on the northeast side of the plant collapsed into office areas due to the weight of the snow on the roof.

Jeremy Town, the owner of Town Corners Roofing in Holland, said the recent roof collapses could be partially due to the flat roof design.

“Think of it as a big swimming pool,” he explained. “Most roofs are designed with the system in there to alleviate water runoff. But in the winter time, without proper maintenance, the drains could get plugged and frozen shut. So essentially, the weight of the snow just stays there. If we get rain or a warm up, it’ll turn into a big swimming pool and with all that excess weight, the roof is not designed properly for it and it can collapse.”

According to Town, it is important for homeowners and commercial businesses to take care of the excess snow on the roof to avoid a collapse.

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