7 March 2014

Winter’s Wrath: Tips for preventing roof collapse and flood damage

Classic car owners are much like baseball players; they can’t wait for spring to arrive so they can get back to doing what they love. After a long winter, however, those warm temperatures can also create problems.

Spring rain and wet, heavy snow can add considerable weight to existing snow on your roof, which can lead to a collapse. Here are some things you can do to prevent possible damage from occurring:

  • Inspect your roof for signs of sagging and leaks, and listen for popping or cracking sounds. Contact a professional roofing contractor to inspect for possible damage.

  • Standing on the ground, use a roof rake to clear excess snow from your roof, or hire an insured and bonded professional to do it for you.

  • Consider hiring a professional to steam severe ice dams before they become a problem.

Rain and melting can also cause flooding. To help lessen those concerns:

  • Remove snow from around the foundation of your home and garage.

  • Clear your gutters, downspouts and surrounding areas of ice and snow.

  • Temporarily move your vehicle(s) to higher ground if a flood warning is issued for your area.

  • If relocating your vehicle isn’t an option, consider using sandbags to block water from entering low-lying areas around your garage, and use stable jack stands to raise your car off the floor.

Ignoring the warning signs can prove disastrous. Our friends on the marine side of the business recently shared a story about a warehouse roof that collapsed onto dozens of classic boats inside. Two factors exacerbated the problem: the warehouse was located in a remote location, making the snow and ice issue easier to overlook, and commercial storage buildings may be more susceptible to collapse due to the lightweight metal roofs often used in their construction.

In the event that your classic car or boat is damaged by a building collapse, rest assured that with a Hagerty policy you’re covered. Even if your classic is in a commercial storage facility, there is no need to recover repair costs on your own. We have your back.

If you have coverage questions or concerns, call us at 800-922-4050.

4 Reader Comments

  • 1
    David Smith Holt Michigan March 11, 2014 at 11:58
    Thanks to Hagerty for the tips on Garage integrity. My garage has never had water on the floor until this week. It was observed on the day of the incident, as I was working on a car project. The cause was excessive snow on the shaded side of the building. With Temperatures above freezing, the runoff began to enter under the doorsill. I was able to shovel the snow further away from the building and prevented water damage to parts in boxes. I suggest that all classic car owners check on their storage while we are beginning to experiance warmer temperatures.
  • 2
    Chris Quiroga Farmington, MI March 12, 2014 at 19:16
    This advice could not have come at a better time! Just purchased my new hobby (1970 Plymouth GTX) and just became a Hagerty customer this week. These tips will surely come in handy with the recent weather extremes we've experienced. A little extra shoveling in spring will definitely provide for a smoother summer!
  • 3
    Chris Quiroga Farmington, MI March 12, 2014 at 19:17
    This advice could not have come at a better time! Just purchased my new hobby (1970 Plymouth GTX) and just became a Hagerty customer this week. These tips will surely come in handy with the recent weather extremes we've experienced. A little extra shoveling in spring will definitely provide for a smoother summer!
  • 4
    Tom M. Wisconsin March 13, 2014 at 13:29
    Good tip on only hiring bonded and insured contractors. Ask to see their Certificate of Insurance. Without it they can sue you if they are injured on your property and your home owners insurance usually does not cover that situation.

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