The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Posted by in The Unusual, Weather Events, Winter Concerns | March 20, 2017

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling”, said Chicken Little.  No my little feathered friend its just ice…very large pieces of ice.  See featured photograph.

Throughout our years of structural investigations we have seen various building components, such as, brick facades, ceilings, roofs, floors, towers, signs, etc. fall to the ground.  Falling building components can result in property damage, personal injury or even death.  Over the past few years we have also investigated the falling of ice from antenna towers and multi-story office buildings (Figures 1 through 4).  Large pieces of ice falling from these elevated heights can cause significant damage to adjacent buildings, houses, roofs, and vehicles.

Figure 1 Ice chunks fallen onto residential yard.

Figure 2 Ice chunks fallen onto residential driveway.

Figure 3 Large fallen chunk of ice.

The excessive formation of ice on a structure can be due to a variety of causes, such as, plumbing leakage on the roof or in a wall, gutter or downspout overflow or blockage, inadequate roof drainage or ice storms.  During periods of thawing and/or high wind these ice formations can dislodge from the structure and fall to the ground.  We have seen some windblown ice falling and impacting the ground several hundred feet away from a very tall communications antenna from which it dislodged.

Figure 4 Communications antenna few hundred feet away from area of fallen ice.

So be attentive of what is overhead, especially during winter months, it may save you a trip to the emergency room.