Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login

Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Concerned About Snow Load on Your Roof?

    Health & Wellness, News & Events    February 12, 2019

What are signs of heavy snow load on my roof?

If you’re concerned about the weight of snowfall on a roof, look and listen for signs of stress. These signs can include unusual sounds from the roof or supporting walls, visible movement of walls or sagging of ceiling and cracking of drywall or plaster. Other signs may include doors that jam or water leaks that show up after a big snow fall.

The configuration of your roof could be a factor. Pay special attention to areas on your roof where local snow accumulation occurs on a portion of a roof; for example, near dormers, valleys or on shed roofs. Roofs with a low slope or roofs covered with rough roofing material tend to accumulate more snow than steeper pitches or slippery roof finishes.

What can I do myself?

You should never clear a roof yourself. Instead, opt for a qualified and insured snow removal company. Where the roof is accessible from the ground, you can reduce some load by using a snow rake to safely pull the snow off the roof from ground level, but even then you need to be careful.

How much snow can my roof hold?

That’s hard to answer – because it’s not the depth of the snow, but really the weight of the snow that matters. The weight of snow can differ quite a bit; for example, compare lifting a heaping shovel of deep fluffy snow with a half-empty shovel of slushy snow. The building code requirements are based on snow load and geographic location as described in question 4. However, the same requirements may not apply to small accessory buildings such as sheds. You should monitor their snow loads as well and, if you can, rake them more regularly from the ground outside.

What are the building code requirements?

The building code requirements are based on snowfall observations converted to a snow load. The roof is designed for a combination of snow and rain load according to a table of locations in the National Building Code (NBC). The roof is then designed to support a minimum of 1 kilo Pascal (21 pounds per square foot) or higher.

Roofs on today’s large buildings are designed for 1-in-50 year snow load events and take into account factors such as roof shape and accumulation. The trusses for today’s houses and smaller buildings built under Part 9 of the NBC are designed according to a simplified snow load equation. This is because of the relatively smaller size and historical performance of these types of buildings

Does the age of my house matter?

Code requirements and design methods have changed over time, as have the construction materials used. Roof trusses have been popular for several decades due to ease of construction and flexibility in design, while older roofs were typically hand-framed with rafters. That’s not to say that having a 40 year old roof is cause for concern; in fact, it has demonstrated its performance over 40 winters.

What’s the best way to deal with all of this?

The best way to assess the snow on your roof and to answer all your questions is an on-site visit by a local expert. You can contact a building science specialist in your area. These are typically architects or consulting engineers. In some cases home inspectors also have this expertise.

Read more about snow loads on roofs.

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags


Post an Event

Community News

  • Islands Trust Council Makes Reconciliati...

    by on March 19, 2019

    The Islands Trust Council acknowledges that the lands and waters that encompass the Islands Trust Area have been home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial and honours the rich history, stewardship, and cultural heritage that embody this place we all call home. The Islands Trust Council is committed to establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships […]

  • BC Ferries Reveals 25-year Vision for Sw...

    by on March 19, 2019

    Community input used to shape long-term plan – BC Ferries released the Swartz Bay Terminal Development Plan (TDP) today. The TDP outlines a long-term vision for the terminal’s future, and a phased approach for implementing the changes envisioned in the plan. BC Ferries employees will be at the terminal from April 10 to 13 to […]

  • Forum: Human Rights, Evidence for Hope?

    by on March 18, 2019

    We live in a world where horrific human rights violations occur, like the recent mass shootings of 50 Muslim worshippers in two Christchurch mosques. This is a world where several countries sentence LGBTQ individuals to death, China has detained over a million Uyghur Muslims, and Canada arrests First Nations people for peacefully trying to protect […]

  • Salt Spring Island Centennial Park Playg...

    by on March 18, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has adopted a 20 year Master Plan to prioritize infrastructure investments for Centennial Park. With site assessments and central drainage complete, and the washroom facility anticipated to be finished in a few weeks, planning can begin to replace the playground. This much needed replacement project was made […]

  • Pipeline Activism: Thoughts On My Trial,...

    by on March 18, 2019

    I’m back from the rabbit hole of court – the B.C. Supreme Court, in downtown Vancouver. Last fall, I spent five days there, self-representing my not guilty plea, after arrest for protesting on March 23rd in front of Texas oil-giant Kinder Morgan’s tank farm in Burnaby, now Trans Mountain Canada, owned by all Canadians. Three […]

  • Building a Tiny Home Community for the U...

    by on March 15, 2019

    “A community safely housed.  A path to stability.  A better quality of life”  Housing forms the building blocks of a community. The recent housing crisis has illustrated exactly how important stable housing is to the solidity of our island. When people don’t have secure housing, their work, school, family life, and even the community suffer. […]

  • 100+ Women Who Care Raise $17,000 in Und...

    by on March 13, 2019

    On the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring held its second meeting. Prior to this meeting, members had nominated 18 local charities. Members randomly drew three of the nominees during this meeting: Greenwoods Eldercare Society, Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association, and Island Pathways. Members heard a compelling presentation for each […]

  • Island Health Assumes Responsibility for...

    by on March 13, 2019

    Island Health will be assuming responsibility for publicly funded home support service delivery on Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands this fall to ensure a consistent approach to implement government’s team-based primary and community care model across the health authority. Home support helps people live independently in their home and be safe. For clients […]

  • NASA Astronaut Lands on Salt Spring: Fri...

    by on March 11, 2019

    From space tourism to settlements on Mars, what is humanity’s future in space? How dangerous is space travel to human health? What benefits do we obtain from space research? Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor returned to Earth from the International Space Station in December—after 197 days in space. On Friday, March 15th at 7:30 PM at ArtSpring, […]

Pin It on Pinterest