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Tips for Snow Load Monitoring

The last thing you need in the winter is for your home or business’s roof to collapse under the heavy weight of its snow load. While maintenance is necessary, it may not prevent roof collapse. Therefore, you may consider developing a roof monitor or snow load plan.

Snow Load

Snow may drift on your roof where obstructions exist. For example, parapets, HVAC units, firewalls and vents may all cause drifting. Uneven roofs or those with valleys may also result in uneven snow load. The wind may also move snow into concentrated areas. If you have taller structures close to your building or home, this may block the sun from your roof, which may prevent snow melt. Also, if it rains before or after it snows and ice forms on top of the roof or snow, dangerous sliding or load increases caused by ice dams may result.

Maintenance

Each year before winter, you should clear your gutters and downspouts and repair any damages. Then, check your seals and flashing around any pipes or other roof penetrations. Check your grading and foundation to ensure proper drainage. Inspect your soffit and ridge vent. Make sure your exhaust vents are open and clear of debris. Ensure that your attic is dry and test any eave heaters.

Visible Monitoring

First, look at all your air intakes and exits. Make sure they are not blocked to prevent carbon dioxide and methane gas buildup. Check the building for sagging ceilings or sprinklers, and listen for popping and creaking noises. Watch the door and window frames, and look for new cracks in the walls and roof leaks.

Electronic Monitoring

Physical monitoring, though helpful, may not always be accurate. It is easy to mistake the weight and depth of a snow load. Therefore, you may consider investing in an electronic roof monitoring system. These systems consistently monitor your roof, allowing you to adapt your snow removal plans in real time, reducing property damage and risk to your employees or loved ones.

Protect your building and its contents by preparing a comprehensive snow monitoring and removal plan.

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