November 29, 2018
Protecting Your Metal Roof in Winter
As we enter the winter season, it’s important to remember that properly caring for your metal roof is integral in keeping the structure of your building strong. Simply putting off roof maintenance during this season can mean the difference in whether you deal with minor or major roof repairs.
First, know the snow load for your building. Metal buildings are designed to bear specific loads. This is the load that will be induced on the building’s roof surface or an element of the building due to the weight of standing snow. Snow loads are generally a function of the ground snow coupled with several environmental factors such as snow exposure, thermal condition and snow drift. According to the MBMA Code of Standard Practice, Heritage cannot determine which building code is appropriate for your project. This requirement must come from the building specifier, which is generally the engineer or architect of record, your local building department or local permit official. Before you purchase a metal building, find out what your codes and loads are as this is something your project consultant will want to work through.
Secondly, you should always inspect your metal roof if it has been exposed to snowy or icy weather conditions. Make sure you clear off excess snow and ice buildup on your metal roof in a balanced manner. For example, you don’t want to clear off only one side of your roof and leave the next half for the next day. Don’t let snow or ice sit on your metal roof if more snowfall is expected as this could exceed your roof snow load, cause damage to the roof and void your warranty.
Lastly, when removing snow, remember to never use metal tools to remove snow buildup as this may scratch your roof. After snowfall, it’s important that you check your roof for loose flashings, loose fasteners, damaged trim and water pooling. If you will be on top of your metal roof to remove snow, take caution where you step and be aware of and avoid steeping on any skylights.
Roof maintenance in snowy weather conditions is important in keeping your metal roof durable and functioning properly. For questions regarding your building’s metal roof maintenance, review our maintenance manual or reach out to Heritage today.