Preventing Snow and Ice Buildup on Metal Roofs in Maine

  • 20 January 2022
  • Posted By Boss Buildings
Preventing Snow and Ice Buildup on Metal Roofs in Maine

Snow can become incredibly heavy, so it's always a good practice to keep your roof free of heavy snowfall.

If you’ve ever visited Maine, you already know just how frigid and snowy the region can be during the winter months. The area sees 50 to 70 inches of snowfall annually, along with subzero temperatures. Heavy snow accumulation, ice, and insanely low temperatures are regular events here, causing immense amounts of damage to homes, cars, and businesses. Between heavy snowfall causing structural damage to buildings and ice contributing to massive power outages, many Maine residents are turning to metal buildings to keep their vehicles and valuables safe from the weather.

These structures are incredibly durable and are engineered to withstand the heavy Maine snowfalls each year. This ensures that your cars, equipment, and essential items are protected against snow and ice buildup. However, even the best roofing systems have their limits for snow loads. So, let’s take a look at how to prevent or minimize snow and ice buildup on the metal roof of your home or steel building.

How Much Snow and Ice is Too Much?

For anyone without a doctorate in engineering, it can be difficult to determine how much snow accumulation is too much for your metal roof to bear. Snow can become incredibly heavy, so it’s always a good practice to keep your roof free of heavy snowfall. If your structure is a prefab metal building, like those provided by Boss Buildings, you’ll easily be able to find out the maximum snow load by contacting your sales expert. Most modern roofing systems are designed to support roughly twenty pounds per square foot. But knowing exactly how much strain snow is placing on your roof can be hard to determine. If you’re having to measure it by eye, keep this in mind:

Fresh snow carries a weight of about 5 pounds per square foot for every 10 inches. Most modern structures can withstand up to four feet of fresh, unpacked snow before structural integrity comes into question.

Packed snow is much more compact yet still retains much of its weight. For every 3-5 inches of packed snow, your roof receives 5 pounds per square foot of stress. By this system, two feet of densely packed snow can cause issues with your roofing system.

Using these guidelines, you can roughly estimate how much stress your structure is under.

When Should You Remove Accumulated Snow

Even with the guidelines above aiding you, it can be challenging to determine how much stress your roof may be under during a snow or ice storm. You can never truly know how much a roof can withstand until it can’t. Therefore, it’s always a best practice to keep your rooftops clear of snow accumulation if possible. Below, we’ve put together a few tips for how to safely remove snow and ice buildup on your roof.

Remove hanging icicles

This conical buildup of ice may look pleasing to the eye, but they’re quite dangerous to both you and your structure. Not only can these icicles break and fall on anyone unfortunate enough to be beneath them, but they also place quite a bit of weight on your roof.

Avoid climbing on rooftops

If possible, you’ll want to avoid climbing on any structure during a snowstorm. The roof’s surface is a dangerous place to be on a good day, and ice and snow will only make it more slippery.

Place ladders at the end of buildings

Ice and snow can easily become dislodged, knocking ladders and those unfortunate enough to be on them to the ground. To avoid serious injury, you’ll want to place your ladder at the end of the building.

Remove snow in a balanced manner

By taking care to remove the snow on your roof in a slow, methodical manner, you can ensure that you’re lightening the load in a way that won’t harm your structure by exposing it to unbalanced weight.

Watch out for falling snow and ice

Dislodged ice and snow can slide down the roof, causing severe injury if you’re not careful and vigilant. Staying to the side of your building when dislodging snow, you can avoid any falling frozen debris.

Don’t use sharp objects or metal shovels on a roof

Your metal roofing system is designed to hold up to water, ice, snow, and pretty much anything you can throw at it. But only as long as it hasn’t been damaged. Damaged panels can allow moisture buildup in your roof that will only grow to cause worse issues over time.

Why Maine Metal Buildings and Metal Roofs Work So Well

There are many reasons metal buildings are among the strongest and most cost-efficient construction types available. But let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest benefits of using these structure types:

Longevity: Unlike wooden structures, steel buildings can last for decades without much intervention. Wooden buildings are subject to decay, moisture damage, mold, and mildew. But not steel! This means your building will last you for years without having to worry about your building falling apart.

Strength: There aren’t many materials that are as strong as galvanized steel. This ensures that your structure will stand up to just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it. They hold their own against high winds, heavy rainfall, and even snow accumulation.

Energy Efficiency: Our buildings are built out of carefully manufactured components, much like a jigsaw puzzle. This tight-fit helps retain heat and makes our steel buildings some of the most energy-efficient building methods on the market.

Minimal Maintenance: As we’ve mentioned, steel buildings can last for decades and require very little to remain in excellent condition. Simply keep your roof free of debris and wash it every season to keep it looking fresh and new.

Resistant to Just About Everything: Not only are metal buildings resistant to moisture infiltration, but they can also hold up to temperatures as great as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit! And while no structure is genuinely fireproof, a metal structure stands a far better chance of surviving in the event of a fire.

Maine Residents! Get your Metal Building from THE BOSS!

No matter where in the Pine Tree State you call home, you can bet that the experts at Boss Buildings have a structure for you! From smaller equipment sheds and workshop buildings to enormous warehouses, our steel buildings can vastly improve your life. Surviving harsh Maine winters is hard enough, so why not do it with the help of a pre-engineered building?

If you’ve finally decided to purchase your new structure, give us a call! Our dedicated team of building experts can help you design, customize, and install your structure. And for those that have an itch for a new DIY project, we also offer metal building kits! These metal building kits come with everything you’d find in our traditional buildings, except you install it yourself! Our metal building kits are some of the strongest structure types in Maine!