Snow Loads & Structural Failures

Snow Loads & Structural Failures

Better understand risks of roof collapses

Exponent's structural engineers assess and investigate buildings to help analyze root causes of roof collapses from snow loads.

What contributes to roof failure?

According to global risk mitigation services firm Aon, winter storms caused a record $15 billion in insured losses in 2021. Snow loads can cause partial or total roof failures, resulting in tragic loss of life, destruction of valuable building contents and equipment, and business interruption.

Exponent's multidisciplinary engineers have extensive experience investigating how winter snow loads lead to roof collapses, including determining triggers, proximate causes, collapse mechanisms, contributing factors, and responsible parties. Our assessments range from evaluating roof structural conditions and determining damages to advising you on how to stabilize damaged structures. We also study weather records to cite past histories of snow loads on buildings and perform simulations to pinpoint the snow distribution on roofs at the time of collapse. Our teams also assist you in adhering to snow load standards included in The American Society of Civil Engineers' guide for "Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures."

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.


Our global and comprehensive expertise across industries gives us a deep understanding of current challenges, best industry practices, and the implications of emerging technologies.