Does a Commercial Flat Roof Require Snow Removal in Winter?

Edmonton is a place that has snow one day and the next day it melts: Edmonton Weather Information.  We typically average 479 millimeters of precipitation a year.  This makes it relatively arid here and keeps us from huge amounts of snow.

Edmonton is also known for winter storms and high winds.  When it comes to flat roofs, the precipitation doesn’t slide off so even if there are strong winds, it just creates a drift but the weight load on the roof does not change.  The real problem comes in when the snow melts and re-freezes over and over.

Due to the low volume of snow, we should be safe from needing to remove snow from our Edmonton commercial flat roofs?   Not so fast!  There are a few times that you should remove snow from your flat roof.

3 TIMES TO REMOVE SNOW FROM YOUR EDMONTON COMMERCIAL FLAT ROOF
  • Structural integrity.  If you have any concerns about your commercial flat roof leaking or structural problems, you definitely want to reduce the weight it bears.  That also begs the question; Do you have a roofing maintenance plan?  An Edmonton Roofing Maintenance plan will save you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Lots of snow! This one seems pretty simple.  If the snow builds up due to a huge storm, the load on the roof increases.  Any time the snow is deeper than 24’, the load on the roof could prove too heavy for the structure.  A catastrophic failure is a huge problem so it makes sense to try to remove some of the weight.  The other issue is drifting.  When you have this much snow, it may seem like not a lot but if it drifts the weight on the roof can be uneven.
  • Melt and Refreeze. Heavy wet snow or ice is much denser and heavier than light fluffy snow.  When it comes to weight load on the roof, all that matters is the mass.    Ice can be deceptive in how much it really weighs.  It is very dense and if you have a low spot on your roof it can easily pool causing a major concern.


When water becomes ice, you run the risk of an ice damn.  That is essentially a giant icicle that continues to grow through the winter.  It can cause sagging or cracks on the fascia or even the roof itself.

If you want further information please consult MD Roofing & Sheet Metal for professional advice.
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