Flat Roof Snow Removal Edmonton

Does a Commercial Flat Roof Require Snow Removal in Winter?

Edmonton is a place that has snow one day and melts the next day.  We typically average 479 millimetres of precipitation a year.  This makes it relatively arid here and keeps us from significant 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 with 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 snow volume, should we 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.



  • Structural integrity: Structural integrity.  If you have any concerns about your commercial flat roof leaking or structural problems, you want to reduce its weight.  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 straightforward. Suppose the snow builds up due to a massive storm, and the load on the roof increases.  Any time the snow is 24 inches or more, the roof load could be too heavy for the structure.  A catastrophic failure is a massive 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 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 roof.

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