You’ve Heard of Freeze/Thaw, but What About Snow Load and Ponding Water?

You’ve Heard of Freeze/Thaw, but What About Snow Load and Ponding Water?


Team of male workers clean roof of building from snow with shovels in securing belts of mantra.

We’ve already discussed some of the top winter roofing hazards and how they can affect the structural integrity of your roofing assets. While still amid the winter months, there are a couple of additional unique roofing hazards that can significantly impact the longevity and performance of your roofing assets: snow load and the subsequent ponding water.


Snow Load

Snow load not only impacts your roofing system; it can also potentially present a Life & Safety Issue. Depending on atmospheric conditions, heavy snowfalls with freezing temperatures can easily lead to a precipitation mixture that can exceed the weight limit of your roof’s structural deck. While heavy, wet snow is ideal for creating snowmen, it is not ideal for your roofing system. Snowfall and drifting conditions can also exceed flashing and penetration heights, also leading to leaks. Knowing the load rating of your roof deck can alert facilities managers to when snow removal needs to occur.


Ponding Water

The freeze/thaw cycle can also lead to ponding water on a roof’s surface. Ponding water, like snow load, can lead to additional weight on the roof system. Water is the universal solvent and can lead to the accelerated deterioration of the roofing system as well. Couple ponding water with freeze/thaw cycling and you can also experience leaks on the horizontal surface where ponding water is occurring. Ponding water must be able to properly drain from your roof’s surface.


A Proactive Approach

Throughout the year and especially before winter, check that all drains are clear of debris and know the load bearing weight of your roof’s structural deck. Additionally, you should know if your roof system is in serviceable condition and that there are no outstanding preventative maintenance items that need to be addressed prior to the onset of winter. Have a qualified roofing professional remove snow that exceeds this weight limit to avoid potential Life & Safety issues if snow slides off of a sleep-stope roof and onto passersby below. For a steep slope roofing system that can bear the weight, installing snow guards or a snow retention system can protect roofing systems from these dangerous snow avalanches by distributing the load more evenly across the roof system.


If you would like to take a proactive approach to managing the integrity of your roofing assets, Technical Assurance can partner with you to alleviate any potential concerns. With almost 30 years of experience, our roofing consultants can help you maintain your roofing assets through preventative and predictive maintenance to ultimately extend the life of your roofing assets, while lowering the total cost of ownership through careful planning and proactive management. Technical Assurance can remediate issues and develop the best course of action to prevent problems from happening in the first place.


Contact Us Today!

Technical Assurance can help you take a proactive approach to managing your roofing assets. Contact us today for a consultation and assure that your investment lasts well into the future.