Snow Loads!

Should Snow Loads be of Concern?

This winter’s heavy snowfalls might have you wondering if you need to remove snow from the roof. Most roofs in the midwest are designed to handle the snow load of a typical winter. Unfortunately, this winter has been more brutal than any in recent years. More than a couple feet of compacted snow on your roof may require some attention.

When deciding whether or not to pursue snow removal, consider:

How much snow is on the roof and how dense is it? Light fluffy snow weighs far less than wet heavy snow. What is the pitch of the roof? A pitch less than 3/12 tends to hold more moisture because snow melt is unable to drain off the roof. What is the weather forecast? Fluctuations in temperature can cause the snow to melt and refreeze causing a dense and heavy load on the roof. In addition, spring snow falls tend to be wetter and heavier than snow that falls in cold temperatures.

If you’ve decided the snow has to go, there are other important considerations:

While too much snow and ice can be hazardous for your roof, removing that snow and ice can be dangerous for you. Rather than getting on a roof and shoveling, consider a “roof rake.” It allows you to rake the snow off the roof while standing on the ground. Alternatively, hire a professional contractor to remove the snow and Ice. If it is necessary to get on the roof for proper snow removal keep in mind that a ladder can slide easily on frozen ground, so it must be anchored properly.

For more information please refer to the attached Hazard Alert from OSHA:

Todd Everson

Loss Control Representative

Safety Benefits Inc.
(605) 999-7089