Building Tips for Snow Loads

Building Tips for Snow Loads










When custom post frame builders in Ohio build a pole barn, one thing they always keep in mind is snow load. If you plan on constructing a pole building in Ohio, here are some building tips for snow loads.

What are Snow Loads?

Snow loads refer to the amount of force from snow a building can withstand, with one cubic foot of snow weighing anywhere from 10-20 pounds. Obviously, the more compacted and wet the snow is, the more it will weigh. Snow loads also vary based on region.

Risks of Snow Loads

There are quite a few problems that can occur on a building that is not built with snow loads in mind. The first, and most dangerous, risk of snow loads is a collapsing roof. If your farm buildings in Ohio aren’t adequately built for snow loads and heavy snow is left on your roof for too long, there is the possibility of it collapsing.

A less extreme, but still detrimental, risk of snow loads is the formation of ice dams. This happens when a pole building in Ohio doesn’t have proper insulation. Basically, if the heat from inside rises to the attic, it will melt the snow on top, which will flow down towards the eaves and refreeze. When this occurs, the dam will start to grow and eventually drip through the roof.

Building Tips

  • Purlin Spacing – How far apart you space purlins will depend on how much snow your region typically gets during the winter. The closer spaced = purlins are, the more weight the roof can hold. Additionally, closer spaced purlin transfer snow more evenly.
  • Drainage – A good drainage system will help you avoid ice dams and prevent melted water from pooling around your building. Additionally, make sure you clear your gutters from debris to prevent it from freezing.
  • Consider Snow Distribution – The direction of your agricultural buildings in Ohio and where rooflines join are important considerations for the distribution of snow. Because of wind, snow doesn’t fall straight down, which means an uneven distribution of snow on some parts of the roof. To avoid this, you’ll need to pay close attention to the building orientation.

The best way to ensure your building can handle snow loads is by hiring professional custom post frame builders in Ohio. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. You can also request a free price estimate for custom pole barns in Ohio right on our website.

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