The appeal of roof-top communing is universal. The views! The fresh air! The shimmering lights! As strong as the appeal is for elevated al fresco socializing, it’s a temptation to resist. They’re often the scene of serious – or fatal – accidents. On top of personal injury, the risk is the damage foot traffic creates, compromising the structural integrity of the roof itself.
Accidents and Deflection
Let’s start with structural damage. Concentrated weight in one area, such as when people congregate for social gatherings, causes deflection or sinking of the roof. Deflections create an area for water to accumulate. When it does, weight is added to the roof, deepening the deflection, encouraging more water pooling, increasing the load, and creating a vicious cycle. Leaks result, and in extreme cases, the entire roof can collapse.
The cost of structural damage is one risk, and an even greater one is the chance of personal injury when roof-top parties occur. Socializing often entails alcohol and other substances that alter partygoers’ sense of caution and discretion, both of which are needed to stay safe at an elevated height. A few careless steps can bring guests to the edge and into a life-threatening situation.
After two years of pandemic-induced separation, we are all seeking ways to reconnect. Keep this in mind: for the sake of your companions and the investment your building represents, keep your party ground-level.