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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ?

Author 
DPost

02-03-2004 10:21:44
204.29.191.177



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Hi Gang;

Well it snowed here again in MN, not unusuall for this time of year. Shure hope that the guy that can't wait to decide whether he should use the 620 or 720 to plow snow is happy. Actually I like snow once I have things cleaned out a bit, and also if I don't have to dirve on the stuff.

Anyway the pole barn roof has about a foot of snow on it. This is not a problem but there probably will be more to come. I use a snow rake to clear the roof so things don't get out of hand. Wouldn't want to have the roof cave in and crush my collection what the wife condiders junk.

Anyway what I was wondering is does some one have some magic elixir to put on a roof so the snow would slide off on it's own. The barn is about 20 years old and the tin is not as slick as when new.

Would like to find out how others deal with this.

Thanks in advance for your answer.
D.D.Post

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jay

02-03-2004 15:31:12
68.191.145.236



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
I live with heavy snow and have a large pole building. Years ago I guessed the snow was over 4 feet on the roof and I rented two 40 btu heaters to heat the building so the snow would slide off. My building is a dark brown color and heat from the sun will often clear the roof. One of the heaters wouldn't work so with one heater the building was warmed until the snow slide off. My building is 50ft by 27 and has 14 ft sidwalls. It doesn't take that much heat. Be careful of the sliding snow. It moves very slowly, like a glacier perhaps, and it can suprise you. Heavy snow falling from a roof can hurt.

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Dave

02-03-2004 15:04:08
24.231.192.50



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  

Is this a real problem or a perceived problem? I am in Michigan and our local building codes require a 70 lbs per foot roof rating. All Pole barns built to code require Engineered trusses. If my math is correct this would be equal to approximately 11 feet of snow. Has anyone out there actually seen a roof fall in on a modern building that was properly constructed to the local building code due to snow load?

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Rodney A Johnson

02-04-2004 06:54:27
129.42.161.35



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 Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to Dave, 02-03-2004 15:04:08  
Yes it is a real problem. Not all states/counties/townships have building codes...or enforce them.

Not all snow is equal. That is 1 inch of wet snow is a lot heavier than 1 inch of fluff. My dad calculated one time that our barn had snow weight equal to a Sherman tank. Don't know what formula he used or where he got it from.

Also note that most insurance policies do not (by default) cover snow load damage.

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jdemaris

02-04-2004 07:58:25
209.23.29.225



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 Re: Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to Rodney A Johnson, 02-04-2004 06:54:27  
It is not the depth, but the weight of accumulated snow/ice moisture content that is critical in assessing your roof's vulnerability. I found the following:
"Water content of snow may range from 3% for a very dry snow to 20% for compacted snow to nearly 100% for ice. Water per inch of depth weighs 5.2 pounds per square foot. Thus, a modern roof designed to carry a snow load of 40 pounds per horizontal square foot is designed to support an equivalent of approximately 3' 6" of compacted snow."

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Dave Ritenburgh

02-04-2004 15:29:37
24.231.192.50



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to jdemaris, 02-04-2004 07:58:25  
Thank You, I think you just proved my suspicions. It seems that about 7% would be a reasonable average moisture content for fresh snow. If that is true, then based on your math, if your annual snow fall was approximately 10 feet or 120" of fresh snow. It would meet the 40 lbs snow load regardless of compaction height. In other words if your area gets an average snow fall of 120", even if none of it ever melted or blew off all year, your roof should not collapse. This is assuming the roof is built properly. Now, is there anywhere that has that much annual snowfall that has a building code as litle as 40 lbs? My point is I think there are a lot of people being injured and damaging their roofs trying to remove snow when if the roof is built to a code poperly calculated for local snow fall it should not be a problem. Yes, a few roofs have collapsed, but what was the real reason?

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jdemaris

02-04-2004 19:04:11
209.23.31.124



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to Dave Ritenburgh, 02-04-2004 15:29:37  
Well, part of the reason for shoveling roofs, it's to prevent water damage from ice dams forming on the eaves. That can happen with four inches or four feet of snow. As to annual snowfall and designed roof strengh . . . rain can add to the weight, and so can drifting, so can wind loading. I've got couple of barns with gable roofs with one side facing the prevailing wind and the other on the lee side. Subsequently, much of the snow from one side drifts onto the other. Very often, one 16" snowstorm can result in almost three of snow on the roof. In additon to that is the common situation of one roof's eave ending over another lower roof. I've got six roofs like that on my farm. Do the math. All these things should be calulated variables but don't necessariy show up in the building codes. Thus the reason why modern buildings can and do come down that were built to code. Seems part of code should include maintenence, i.e. snow removal and other displays of common sense. Sometimes code seems to eradicate commons sense, since some people assume it makes buildings 100% safe in all conditions. Highway overpasses also come down when hit in the right spot by the right truck, and houses built in 100 year flood plains sometimes get flooded two years after they're built. Codes don't prevent everything.

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dave

02-05-2004 05:38:12
198.208.223.35



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof in reply to jdemaris, 02-04-2004 19:04:11  
I'm sure there are a few situations where proactive snow removal is justified. I just don't understand why I see people with new houses with 70 lb roofs and 6 feet of ice and watershield as underlayment up on their houses every time they get 6" of snow tearing up their shingles to remove it. I see people who have difficulty just getting up on the roof trying to keep their roofs bare all winter. I just think these people are causing more damage then they are preventing.

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jdemaris

02-05-2004 06:33:27
209.23.28.237



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn in reply to dave, 02-05-2004 05:38:12  
Well yeah . . . I guess that's why roof rakes were invented. Mine have 40' pole extensions, and when standing on the ground, you are pulling snow in the direction that it won't hurt asphalt shingles. But . . I don't have, and never again will have, ANY asphalt shingles on a roof. I've converted everything to steel and love it.



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Dave

02-05-2004 10:17:27
198.208.223.35



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Snow on the Pole B in reply to jdemaris, 02-05-2004 06:33:27  
I saw a local guy the other day blowing 12" of fresh snow off of the roof of his new house with a snow blower. I've lived in the snow belt all of my life and have never done a thing to any of my buildings to remove snow, but I know a roofer who loves the idea. He replaced roofs every spring with torn shingles. I think a lot of people do things just because "that's what I have always done" not because they understand what they are doing.

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jdemaris

02-03-2004 18:47:49
209.23.28.186



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 Re: Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to Dave, 02-03-2004 15:04:08  
Simply put, yes . . . several times. Code here in this part of Central New York State requires 40 lbs. per square foot, referred to as a "heavy snow load." I've been in several areas in Michigan where it is also 40 lbs. Had a new horsebarn come down here last winter a month after it was completed. Also had a supermarket roof and a church roof come down. Horsebarn owner sued, don't know how he made out. They put it back up with a 60 lb. rating instead of the required 40. Snow can be deceiving once it gets wet a few times and settles. I just shoveled some of my barn roofs a few days ago and had over four feet on them - luckily it was dry snow.

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Mick

02-03-2004 14:38:10
152.163.252.229



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
Check out this website, I live in Ohio and although we don't get near as much snow as you I'm considering these cause when the snow builds up and decides to slide of it sure piles up all at once on the ground.
http://www.traditionalbuilding.com/article/snowg.htm



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dw

02-03-2004 14:29:29
206.72.58.29



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
I know of a manufacturing company, that had a large area with a canopy covering it. It had a large amount of snow on top and someone got the bright idea of removing the snow by washing it off with a water hose. The whole thing froze and the canopy collapsed. No one cared to admit to being responsible for that one.



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John

02-03-2004 12:27:42
12.158.102.142



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
You could move the pole barn South say 1,000 miles or so. I could use another one at my place. When we do get snow it is never enough to build up even though our building codes require snow loading to be figured in truss design. I can think of some environmentaly un-friendly ways but you would think there would be a wax out there for that.



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70D

02-03-2004 11:59:19
204.42.20.203



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
Sunshine



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old

02-03-2004 11:22:43
63.190.65.169



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
Years ago they sold a heat tape that could be put on or under a roof to help with that problem. Don't know if they still make them or not



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Mark Scholten

02-03-2004 10:53:31
205.188.209.70



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 Re: Snow on the Pole Barn Roof ? in reply to DPost, 02-03-2004 10:21:44  
Build a fire inside and get it toasty warm for the day. The snow will melt from the underside and slide off like ice on a pole barn roof. Use caution when walking around buildings with metal roofs. When a sheet of ice breaks loose, it doesn't warn you.



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