Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How Professionals Determine the Weight of Snow

Weight of Snow
Though it often appears in movies and TV as a light and fun winter wonder, snowfall comes with some serious downsides for roofing when it accumulates enough weight. To tell the difference between a picturesque natural decoration and a potential disaster, property owners need to know how much the snow on their buildings weighs. Unfortunately, this process can be complicated for individual companies to undertake.

The weight of snow depends largely on how much water is in it, or how packed-in it is on a surface. Visually similar areas might contain much more dense deposits, and measurements can change as quickly as the weather. For these reasons, the best protection against potential damage comes from something called deflection monitoring. This technique is:

  • The Ideal Standard for Many Experts
  • More Accurate than Other Methods
  • Usable in Real-Time Around the Clock

It works by employing a series of sensors that measure the displacement (deflection) of supporting roof joists.  These sensors let monitoring parties know exactly when and where snow removal is needed, and direct snow removal action where it's required. A balance of safety and efficiency, and an excellent investment for any property that deals with snowfall.

Make Successful Roof Snow Removal Plans

Roof Snow Removal Plans
Snow is one of the most common sources of trouble for countless roofs. While a little is no issue for well-constructed properties, even a moderate amount left to sit can cause major problems over time. This is why making effective roof snow removal plans is essential for businesses and organizations during the winter. Below are some of our top tips for proactive roof care when it comes to managing snowfall:

Consider Snow Weight -- Not all snow is the same, and the most critical factor when it comes to your roof tends to fluctuate with regional and time-specific differences. The amount of water stored in snowfall depends largely on its density and two properties that might be under very different levels of stress.

Always Choose Caution -- It’s much easier and less expensive to consult professionals than it is to repair the damage after waiting too long for removal. If you see any signs of trouble, such as visible strain or leaks, get help as soon as possible.

Employ Active Monitoring -- Modern technology makes it easier than ever to avoid disaster. With special sensors placed under the roof deck, you can get real-time alerts and always know when it’s the right time for removal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

How Much Roof Snow Is Too Much?

Snowfall built up on the roof can quickly transform an industrial landscape into a peaceful winter wonderland. Though the presence of snow on the roof is beautiful in its own right, there’s a limit to how much snow a roof can support. Accumulated snow can get extremely heavy and can lead to significant structural issues, including roof leaks, interior water damage, ice dams, and even total roof collapse. Fortunately, the experts at Safe Roof Systems have put together some helpful roof snow load measurement tips to help you understand how much snow your roof can handle before danger ensues.

Roof snow load code requirements follow local ground snow load data.   Refer to your builder or engineer for your Live Load requirements.  To Illustrate how much snow can weigh consider the following examples:

  • Fresh Snow - 1 foot of freshly fallen snow equals 8-10 pounds per square foot.
  • Accumulating layers of Snow - 1 foot of old, packed-down snow is equivalent to 22-25 pounds per square foot.
  • A Mixture of Old and wet snow - 1 foot of water-soaked and compressed snow can weigh as much as 35-45 pounds per square foot.
    roof snow load measurement

Closely monitoring the amount of snow building up on your roof is essential if you wish to avoid structural issues. Your building will be safer if you’re aware of when to mitigate the problem safely with effective snow removal services.

Rely on Safe Roof Systems to determine the load capacity of your roof with roof snow-load measurement tips. Keep these in mind to prevent structural issues.

Using a Roof Load Calculator to Measure Snow Load

Roof Load Calculator

That falling snow looks so light and fluffy, it’s hard to believe that too much of the white stuff can cause a roof to collapse. However, it can and does happen, especially when you’re considering the buildup of ice and snow over the course of a long winter. The smart thing to do is protect your investment in your business building with a
roof load calculator.

The snow load up on the rooftop is determined by many variables. This includes everything from the roof’s shape and slope to wind exposure, and even the snow on the ground. You must also take the type of snow into consideration. There are the light, powdery flakes, and the wet, heavy snow. And, don’t forget about the ice.

The weight of snow on the roof’s structure is not something you can judge by eye. Instead, we recommend using a monitoring system. Such a system takes into consideration the variables that can occur in the amount and type of snow, as well as the type of roof you have overhead. Once you’ve figured that out, you can make arrangements for raking that snow off of the roof.

Using Numbers to Tell When It’s Time to Shovel

Shoveling Roofs

Those frozen bits of water that make the landscape so beautiful and magical in the winter can be a heavy burden for businesses. This is especially the case when your business building is large or has a flat or slightly sloped roof. As snow accumulates on these types of roofing, it stays put instead of sliding harmlessly to the ground. This requires you to be alert and diligent to prevent problems with your roof. And, those problems can be costly as they range from leak repair to roof replacement.

You have two factors to consider here -- the amount of snow and/or ice on your roof. You can’t forget about the ice because it’s heavier and can do far more damage. During the winter, chances are your roof is covered with both. We recommend you make use of formulas and technology to get an accurate estimate.

A roof load calculator is one method. Another is a calculator built into a monitoring system. That way, you have the numbers you need to make smart decisions, such as when to send a crew out to start shoveling roofs. A small investment in a monitoring system now saves you big money on roofing repairs and replacement in the future.

Friday, September 27, 2019

3 Ways Snow & Ice Can Harm Your Roof

When winter rolls around, most of us prepare by stocking up on road salt, switching tires, and piling up firewood. We don’t immediately think of our roofs, even though they’re the only things standing between us and several inches of heavy snow. Before the weather turns cold, inspect your roof and be sure it’s ready to stand up to freezing snow and ice. Here are just a few things that could put your roofing at risk:

1. Snow weight. Snow is surprisingly heavy--even if it’s just a few inches. And once enough piles up, a roof that isn’t reinforced enough could quickly come crashing down. Flat roofing is particularly susceptible to collapse from heavy snow loads. We recommend investing in a roof snow removal plan to put your mind completely at ease.
roof snow removal plans
2. Moisture damage. If a roof isn’t airtight, melting snow and ice can create streams of water that penetrate seams. Once this water is inside your building, it can lead to mold and mildew growth that eventually weakens the entire structure--especially the roof. Not only that, any moisture trapped in these seems could freeze and expand, causing additional damage.

3. Ice buildup. Have you ever noticed icicles forming along the underside of a building’s roof? Though it’s common, it’s also a sign that water isn’t draining properly. Ice formation can seriously damage your gutters and other parts of your roof.

To be sure your home or business is “covered” in the event of snow buildup, ask about a roof snow removal plan. 

Understanding Roof Snow Load Measurement

If you live in a region that sees lots of snow every winter, it’s well worth your time to learn how to measure the weight of snow accumulating on your roof. An individual flake might not weigh much at all, but when all those flakes get together, it could spell disaster for your building--especially if you manage or own commercial property, which tends to have flat roofing rather than pitched roofing.

Snow load formulas differ depending on what type of roof you’re measuring: flat or pitched. For flat roofing, you’ll want to use a yardstick to measure the average depth of snow piling up there. Translate that number to feet. (For example, 12 inches is one foot.)
roof snow load measurement

Then, fill a 1x1-foot container with snow and weigh it. You’ll multiply that weight by the depth of the snow. The resulting number should tell you how many pounds of snow your roof is carrying per square foot.

Sounds complex? For many business owners, it is. Constantly monitoring how much snow your building’s roof gets is exhausting and unrealistic, especially for large properties. (Don’t even get us started on pitched roofing--that formula is even more complex.) A roof snow load measurement system will simplify the task by doing the hard work for you.

To find out how professional roof snow load measurement can protect your business, get in touch with our team.