Protect Your Roof Against Excessive Snowfall

Protect Your Roof Against Excessive Snowfall

Guest Blogger: Allen Hurtz, Director of Engineering
For most, the winter means putting on a few extra pounds. Few ever escape the holiday feasts. Fewer still ever escape the holiday weight gain. Not that that’s a bad thing. It just means more of you to love.

The same holds true for your buildings. The winter means snow and snow means weight. For your structures, snow is a roof’s way of getting fat. And if that fat sticks around until the next New Year’s resolution kicks in, your building may suffer. So when excessive snow falls, it may be time to make sure your roof isn’t tipping the scales. Each structure is specifically designed to hold a specific loading. During above average snowfall, that loading can increase exponentially and create an overload condition on your building, resulting in serious damage. If your having a conservatory or extension built and you live in an area where snow can be a problem one of the best roofs to opt for is a Solid roof from, it’s light enough for the structure underneath but sturdy enough for the bad weather months. The Ministry of Labour (MoL) highly recommends consulting with a structural engineer and initiating snow removal during these excessive snowfalls or looking into using a company that uses snow removal software when a roof shows signs of distress.

Here are a few safety precautions to remember when clearing away snow accumulation:
• Remove snow in a balanced manner as much as possible.
• Give extra care around roof panels, any mechanicals and/or fasteners to prevent damage.
• Never use metal tools such as a rugged plasma cutters or snow blowers in the removal. Instead look at using equipment that is not as tough, snow removal equipment like a Skid steer bush hog could be a better choice.
• When possible, use draglines and other means to remove snow and keep personnel off the roof.
• If the building has a skylight/light transmitting panel, be aware of their location since the snow may conceal them. Do not step directly on skylights/light transmitting panels or in the areas adjacent.

For more information on snow removal, you can consult the Snow Removal Section of the MBMA Manual (Appendix 9) or Metal Building Maintenance Manual that was sent along with the erection drawings.

We hope this helps you keep your roof lean and strong. As for your personal weight removal, don’t count on these tips to help with that at all.

This article is written and sourced by Star Building Systems and is available on the Star Insight Warehouse.