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.