All About Snow Loads, Roof Design & Removal Considerations before Building Installation
What's New

Building prices on our website are changing soon due to the industry-wide steel price increase. Call us at (704)-823-6732 for the latest prices of steel buildings.

All About Snow Loads, Roof Design, and Removal Considerations before Building Installation

All About Snow Loads, Roof Design, and Removal Considerations before Building Installation
  • August 17, 2020

There is time for the winter approaching, but you will not have a new building for the frosty season if you have not planned. So, it’s the perfect time to order a steel building that you buy today will protect you throughout the year. Winter is the most devastating season because many buildings collapse due to heavy snow loads.

Many states of the country face heavy snowfall, and if you live in one of these regions, you should know about the snow loads and how to tackle this. Yes, if you own a metal building or plan to buy a metal structure, you must know all this information about snow load, roof design, snow removal tips, etc.

About Snow Loads

As the name says, it is the load or pressure due to the weight of snow accumulation. It is a significant problem in dense fall areas, and buildings need special care or customizations to withstand these heavy snow loads.

Generally, a roof can bear 20 lbs per square foot of snow. Some factors influence the building’s snow load. For calculating the right snow load, you should consider these factors.

You need to multiply the depth of the snow in feet by the weight of a cubic foot of snow.  However, the snow’s weight changes with the snow’s density, changing the snow load. For example, light snow has weight 5-20 lbs./sq. ft., packed snow: 20-40 lbs./sq. ft., packed snow with ice: 40-57 lbs./sq. ft., and 57 lbs./sq. ft.

Hence, knowing the kind of snowfall your area has is mandatory. Excluding Southwest Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the western US have lighter snow than the snow in the east coast regions.

So, calculate your snow load accordingly and get a strong enough structure that can withstand the pressure.

Once you are done with the calculations and have the specifications for your building, you also need to pay some attention to the design factor. An effective building design helps extensively to handle and minimize the snow accumulation.

Before jumping directly on the design aspects, you should select a suitable shed option that can better serve in snowfall regions like metal buildings. Metal buildings have ample strength and limitless design options to provide you the utmost protection against blizzards and dense snowfalls.

Roof Design Tips for Minimal Snow Load

Consider Steeply Sloped Roofs

In general, steeply sloped roof like vertical roof style buildings shed water and snow faster. As the slope doesn’t allow much accumulation and snow comes off as it gains some weight. So, get the steeply sloped roof for your building to tackle the snow accumulation and ease the removal.

A vertical roof is the best choice for customers living in areas where heavy snowfall is common. All vertical metal garages are designed for dense snowfall areas, and the vertical orientation doesn’t allow heavy snow accumulation. As the snow piles up on the roof, it naturally slides down due to its weight and vertical pattern roof panels. So, get a vertical steel garage to don’t let snow trouble you.

You should confirm your dealer that your roof is capable and designed to withstand the local snow loads. Moreover, you should ensure that your roof has gradual snow shedding because immediate shedding can damage someone or something. So, consider a steeply sloped roof for optimal snow load management.

Insulate Your Ceiling

It’s obvious that you will use heaters in the winter, but that heated environment melts the snow on the roof. The melted water converts into ice due to freezing outside temperature. The moisture due to water and ice damages the roof, and you need to optimize this issue by restricting the melting. So, it is advisable to use ceiling insulation so there will be no heat exchange and snow melting. As the snow remains frozen, one can easily take it down, or the pitched roof sheds it. So, insulate your ceiling to protect your roof from damage.

Count the Uneven Accumulation Due to Obstructions

A plain roof has uniform accumulation throughout the surface, but HVAC equipment, firewalls, vents, etc., cause the unbalanced distribution of snow and damage the roof. So, when you are planning to get a building, consider all these obstructions and related snow loads that can affect the structural integrity of your shed.

You should consider these aspects to dilute the snow accumulation and concerning effects.

You can minimize the snow accumulation but can’t deter it. You need to do snow removal timely because even a little prolonged accumulation can also cause damage or ice dams.

Below are some useful tips for snow removal.

Snow Removal Tips

Roof Raking

It’s for general use. One can take off the snow with a roof snow rake. It is a 20-ft aluminum hoe that people use to remove the snow and ice dam. If you have a taller shed, then you can consider an extension. Moreover, if you can’t reach the roof, you can still clear the snow from the overhangs.


When snow is hard or packed, raking doesn’t work. You can use the snow shovel to remove the snow. However, you should mind the proper safety gear and precautions while shoveling. If you are not sure, hire a professional to do the task. Ensure the hired professional, or you don’t leave the footprints of packed snow because it can create ice dam.

Use Deicers

Deicers are chemicals used to remove snow and ice. Mostly, commercial property owners employ deicers to manage snow accumulation. So, use the deicers if it suits you, and enjoy the frosty season instead of suffering.

These are some snow removal tips that you can use to manage the snow accumulation or lighten your building’s snow load.

That’s it. This is all about the snow loads, building design recommendations, and snow removal tips. You should always consider these tips and recommendations to get a shed that can safeguard you during the winter and other extreme weather.

Metal buildings are perfect for extreme weather and bestow the utmost protection to the stored stuff and you.

Viking Metal Garages has a wide range of quality garages you can rely on. We are also offering a 20-year rust-through warranty, 10-year panel warranty, and 1-year workmanship warranty. So, hurry up and get your weatherproof metal garage now! For placing an order or help, talk to us at (704)-823-6732.

Spring Sale Know More cross