How To Protect Your Roof Against Excessive Snowfall

Excessive Snowfall


Allen Hurtz
Director of Engineering

When winter comes, weight comes. I’m not referring to your waistline, although that happens, too. I’m talking about on your roof.

Structures are individually designed to bear specific loads. As the winter turns blustery and wet, an excessive snowfall could increase the load on your roof and create an overload condition, which could create serious damage to your building. The Ministry of Labour (MoL) highly recommends consulting with a structural engineer and initiating snow removal during these excessive snowfalls or 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 or snow blowers in the removal.
  • 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. If you have questions about your specific structure, leave us a comment below! We’re here to answer any questions you have as you prepare for the coming winter season and excessive snowfall.

This blog was created especially for you from the experts at Star Building Systems.

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Allen Hurtz, P.E.

Allen Hurtz, P.E., began his career at Star in January 1989 as a Design Engineer I. He was promoted to Design Engineer II and then to Engineering Manager in 1997. He accepted the position as Director of Engineering in 2012. Allen received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Platteville and is a registered Professional Engineer in multiple states. Allen and his wife, Trish, have two daughters, Rachel and Hannah, and enjoy family time and attending the girls’ activities.

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