How can I remove snow from the roof of my building safely?
The short answer is: it depends on how much snow you have on your roof and what type of roof you have.
The State of Connecticut is town specific when it comes to building regulations. This means that the building code in Norwich, where wind speed matters more, differs from Windsor, where “roof snow load” and “ground snow load” are more important.
An engineering equation tells us specifically how much snow a roof can support but here are some basic tips to follow when removing snow from a roof:
- Do not remove all of the snow from your roof
- Remove snow evenly on a gabled roof
- Remember to tie yourself off
- Consider your weight in addition to the snow weight on the roof
- Know when to call a professional
Removing all of the snow from your roof can cause more damage to the structure because your equipment can damage the bare roof. Be sure to leave a thin snow coating on your roof for this purpose.
Removing snow from only one side of your roof creates a weight imbalance that can weaken the structural integrity of the roof. Remove snow evenly on each side to prevent such an imbalance.
Tying yourself off is an important step to be safe while working on a slippery roof. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, or worse, with a fall off a roof if you lose your footing.
Wet snow may weigh 30 lbs per cubic ft. Ice can weigh 57 lbs per cubic ft. Assuming your building is built to code (which as we said above can vary from town to town) your roof should be able to handle approx. 30lbs per cubic ft.
This means with a foot or more of wet snow your weight may be more than the roof can safely handle. (Don’t forget to be aware of the weight of heating or cooling equipment that may be on, or hanging from, the roof). If you must go on a roof overloaded with snow or ice do not add more people than necessary and if multiple people are working on the roof make sure they are spread out.
Know when you’re in over your head. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, call a professional (Licensed and Insured) with experience removing snow from your type of roof since different roof types require different removal plans.
Following these steps will make removing snow from your roof as easy as possible. We can advise our customers on how much snow is too much for their style of commercial roof. After you remove the snow, we offer temporary structures for commercial buildings, flat roofs and pre-engineered metal buildings.
For more information, please contact Rocco at (860) 742-5317 x107 or Richard at (860) 742-5317 x115 or call our office toll free at (800) 292-5317.