Every year, snow piles onto buildings and only the strong ones stay intact under the extra weight. Anyone who is planning to erect a building to withstand harsh winters should consider steel buildings. Steel is super strong, and when you have the right design for the roof and walls, it will be the strongest possible strength to deal with cold weather, snow load, and heat retention. Regular maintenance checks will help prolong the life of your steel building’s roof and prevent unnecessary damage.
If you plan to heat your steel building, you will want to keep the heat inside rather than letting it escape to the outdoors. For this, you will need to use building materials with good insulation properties. On its own, steel isn’t a great insulator but is a good conductor, which you can use to move cold temperatures to other parts of the structure. For example, if the structure has a space between the inside walls and items inside, then the coldest parts of the structure will be on the edges while the remainder is warm.
To get the most out of a steel building, you should use the steel as an actual part of the heating system. Steel is the best heat conductor compared to other building materials like plastic or wood; thus, when used as part of the ventilation and heating system of a structure, heat distribution will be as efficient as possible. Snow on the roof will melt faster and this will help reduce snow load.
3. Snow Load
Snow has an average weight of 15 pounds per cubic foot. If you have a 1500-square foot roof that accumulates snow, that’s 22,500 pounds of pressure on your roof! Then, you have to take into consideration if it’s wet or dry snow, if there are drifts, and what area of the country you live, which will help determine the types of winter season your building will have to survive.
Snow load is the amount of weight that your structure will have to support due to the snow that is on top of it. Any structure with a large surface area will have a lot of snow resting on it at any one time. The maximum amount of snow a roof can support without caving inwards dictates snow load capacity. You want the highest possible snow load capacity for any buildings to make sure they can survive winters with a lot of snow. The absolute worst time to repair a damaged roof is in the winter, so it’s best to go with a steel building and roof to take advantage of proven strength profile. Steel also has the advantage that in many cases, snow will simply slide off the steel roof, thus eliminating a lot of the danger of reaching maximum snow load capacity.
Speaking of snow sliding off, the slope of the roof is very important. You want your roof to be steep enough that it allows snow to slide off, but not so steep that it causes snow and ice to careen off, causing injury to passersby and damaging chimneys and other things. A shallow slope will allow snow to accumulate and never slide off. Without a thaw, this could become a maximum snow load capacity situation. Choose your slope carefully.
5. Maintenance Checks
You should do maintenance checks on your steel building a few times a year, especially immediately before and after any major weather events. This will help you discover repairs that need to be made before the next snow storm or other weather event and will reveal damage done in the recent past.