Commercial Property Snowstorm Tips

You have a mission, Don't let snow interfere with it.


As a business or commercial building owner, we are always looking for ways to protect our investment. One thing many overlooks in the process is the state of their building. More specifically, their roofs. An establishments roof is the first line of defense against storms, wind, fire and all the elements outdoors. It is crucial to understand just how important maintaining this structure is.


IBHS has outlined a number of factors that could dictate how your particular facility will perform under the weight of ice and snow. These factors are listed below, which includes engineering considerations that could help you avoid roof collapses this winter.

  • Live and dead load design;
  • Age of the building and the roof;
  • Condition of the roof;
  • Elevation;
  • Maintenance during or after a major snowstorm

Safe snow removal may reduce some of the snow load on your roof. Consider contracting with a professional for snow removal. If your workers will be removing snow keep the guidelines below in mind. To avoid roof collapse, snow removal should begin prior to reaching the snow load limit of the roof.

Always follow the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) Regulations and Standards, particularly fall protections for roof work. Avoid using shovels or snow blowers. Instead, use a heavy-duty push broom with stiff bristles or roof rake to brush off the snow down the slope of the roof. For most single-story buildings with steep sloped roofs, a roof rake may be used for while remaining on the ground to pull snow down the roof slope. Do not pull snow back against the slope or sideways since the snow may get underneath the cover and can break shingles.

If you see indications that the roof is deflecting under the weight of the snow in certain areas, be sure to keep people away from those areas and seek the help of a professional snow removal expert.

roof safety tips

Keep in Mind:

  • Fresh snow: 10-12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lbs per square foot of roof space.
  • Packed snow generally is heavier than new snow: 3-5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, again about 5 lbs per square foot of roof space.
  • Ice is also heavier than snow. One inch equals about a foot of fresh snow.
  • The total amount of accumulated snow and ice is what matters in evaluating snow load risk. For example, the accumulated weight of two feet of old snow and two feet of new snow could be as high as 60 lbs per square foot of roof space, which may stress the limits of even the best-designed roof.

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What our Exclusive Inspections Include

  • Visual Inspection 
    • Physical Damage or Weakening
    • Deterioration
    • Roof Continuity and Seams
    • Condition of Surface Coatings
    • Drainage System and Soffits 
  • Non-Destructive Testing
    • Infrared
    • Nuclear 
    • Capacitance  
  • Electonic Vector Mapping
  • Leak Detection/Moisture Infiltration Testing
  • Detect Deteriorating insulation in flat roofs
  • CERTIFIED Storm Damage Assesment 
  • Free Drone Inspection