Snow removal keeps companies and individuals busy

Due to the accumulation of snow received in central Alberta this winter, shoveling sometimes requires leaving the safety of the ground.

Kelsey Korpiniski

Due to the accumulation of snow received in central Alberta this winter, shoveling sometimes requires leaving the safety of the ground.

Kelsey Kurpiniski who owns Apex Landscaping spent many hours cleaning the snow off the roof of the Rimbey agricultural building.

Despite the grueling work of shoveling the snow off the huge roof, Kurpiniski took a few minutes to chat, although he didn’t take time to climb down off the roof.

Kurpiniski said he has been “extremely” busy this season keeping roofs as well as driveways clear of snow and his landscaping business has very much been in demand.

Mayor Rick Pankiw encourages homeowners to hire a contractor to make sure snow is removed from the roof of their home if there is no family around to help out.

“This is absolutely the most snow I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard of four roofs in the Rimbey area that have collapsed and 11 in the province, so far.”

Rimbey developer Steffen Olsen said his crews have been busy clearing snow off roofs in town and in the Gull Lake area.

While the developer couldn’t confirm exactly how much snow could cause a roof to cave in, he said he has heard 24 inches could be bad news.

“I talked to an engineer who said when you reach two feet of snow on your roof you should consider taking it down,” he said.

Darrell Peters, an agent with Co-operators in Rimbey said there are no definite guidelines in place regarding snow removal from a roof, but it’s best to keep buildings as clear as possible. He said there is insurance coverage available if a roof collapses because of a snow load.

“It depends on the policy.”

Pastoral assistant at the Catholic Parish of St. Margaret, Vivian Longman said an awning on the south side of the church collapsed due to the weight of the snow. Although, the roof had collapsed last year as well, some sources reported the structure had up to four feet of snow on it this year.

Rimoka Housing board chairman Paul McLauchlin said maintenance workers are keeping a close eye on Parkland Manor roof to ensure snow levels don’t get too high.

During December 2013, record snowfalls claimed some roofs in the regions. On Dec. 30, heavy, dense snow caused about half of the canvas top covering a tent at the south end of Westerner Park in Red Deer to collapse. The tent was insured for $700,000 and crews have since knocked down snow on the roofs of other buildings in the area.

A farmer near Bentley suffered cattle loss when a roof collapsed on the structure in which the animals were housed.