If heavy snow falls on your conservatory roof, you may be concerned about the weight of the snow on your roof. But if it follows by rain, the situation is only worsened especially if it is cold when this can freeze and add even more weight.
Large amounts of snow are potentially dangerous to conservatory roofs if the weight of the snow approaches the loads bearing weight of the roof. Heavy snow falls can deposit large amounts in a relatively small time, and either preventive measures like heated ice cables, or clearing work should be undertaken as early as possible.
Weight of snow on a conservatory roof
If you live in a region where winter storms are common, you may want to keep an eye on your conservatory roof. Snow and ice can be especially damaging to wood and skylights. Additionally, the snow and ice can cause gutters to clog, allowing moisture to enter your home. This moisture will eventually damage the roof and cause condensation. To prevent this from happening, follow these simple maintenance tips.
The first thing to do is to make sure your roof is not dangerous covered with snow. If it is snowing continuously and heavily Settled or compacted snow can weigh several hundred kilograms per square metre. Even just a few centimetres of wet snow can weigh a few kilograms, so be careful when you’re assessing the weight and its better to overestimate than under in these cases.
If you’re not sure if your conservatory roof is strong enough to withstand the weight, rake the snow off it periodically, even if it is still snowing. If you notice creaking noises, take action immediately either removing as much as you can safely, or calling for professional assistance.
How heavy is snow?
Another important factor in determining the weight of snow on your conservatory roof is the type of snow. Snow has varying water content, so the exact weight of one cubic foot depends on the snow’s density. Wet snow, for example, weighs twice as much as dry snow. You can easily calculate the weight of snow by multiplying the cubic foot of snow by the square footage of the roof. This way, you can determine the maximum weight of snow you can put on your conservatory roof.
A conservatory roof can support up to 4 feet of fresh snow, but a full foot of compacted snow, or icey snow could easily cause the roof to collapse. e.
The weight of snow on a conservatory roof can be significantly increased by rain. Snow layers will absorb the water from rain, and the accumulated water will further increase the weight.
Snow is also incredibly heavy, with its density only 1/10th that of liquid water. As such, 300mm of snow on a conservatory roof would weigh 30kg/m2. This could be a significant problem, but there are simple practical steps you can take to make your conservatory roof more resilient to snowfall. We have a link to our article on prevention of snow build up below.
Effects of ice dams
When snow falls on a conservatory roof, it melts and collects in the areas on the upper surface, which forms ice dams. These dams block the flow of melted water, resulting in the building of a water-logged roof. The ice dam’s thickness is a function of temperature and is usually the result of uneven insulation and inadequate ventilation.
In addition, heat can escape from the roof naturally through convection or air leaks. The exhaust from kitchens and bathrooms can also end just above the roof. In order to prevent the formation of ice dams, the best way to protect your conservatory roof is to install proper insulation, and improve ventilation.
Once you have identified the ice dams, you can begin to prevent them from forming. To prevent the ice dams from forming, you can install a patented ice dam prevention system. These systems are available and vary in cost. Ask a professional roofer to help you choose the right one. Although ice dams commonly form over the roof eaves, they can form in many other places as well. Unlike a flat roof, a conservatory roof should loses heat and should be less likely to experiences ice dams.
There are many ways to prevent ice dams from forming on your conservatory roof. One way is to put a calcium chloride ice melter in a pantyhose leg. It works by melting ice dams and creating a path for underlying water to flow.
The first sign of an ice dam problem is icicles that form along the eaves of the conservatory roof. This can result in extensive damage to your conservatory roof, including loosening of shingles, ruined flooring, and stained ceilings. most people think of them as just something pretty.
Additionally, wet attic insulation can lead to serious mold problems. Luckily, a combination of better insulation and better sealing can help you avoid this problem.
An effective way to prevent ice dams is to replace the shingles with metal shingles. These are available in several styles and materials. Ice Belt Metal Panels are available to prevent ice dams on conservatory roofs. They’re typically three to four feet long and two to three feet wide. Made from thin gauge aluminum, they’re usually very effective. They can be manufactured by a sheet metal shop or purchased from a 24” aluminum trim coil. The fabrication method doesn’t affect the quality of the material.
Improper snow removal
One example of how improper snow removal can be hazardous to a conservatory roof is when a worker falls through a skylight and lands 25 feet below. While this may seem trivial, the resulting injuries could be catastrophic. In order to prevent such tragedies from happening, make sure you both safely remove snow from your roofs including conservatory roofs, and that you do so safely.
Despite prettily falling form the sky and looking as light as a feather, snow is a problem on roofs when it collects in think sheets. It has weight, and if it is followed my rain can turn into a thick layer of frozen water and snow that can weigh hundreds of pounds.
Try to take some preventative measures as we outlined in the linked article above, but if you get caught by surprise keep and eye on all the roofs in your house, but especially the flat roofs and the conservatories.