Winter Care & Maintenance

These buildings are not industrial grade shelters and, as such, some caution must be exercised under some winter storm conditions….

Please see the WINTER CARE  page in our installation guide for additional information. We also have a Winter Care FAQ page with articles we have posted on this topic

Our structures are designed in a gothic shape with a slippery cover to be lightweight and snow resistant. This encourages the snow to slide off quickly.
This is not an industrial high snow load building. We do our best to always point out applications where the capacity of the structure is being compromised. Extra hoops or thicker steel are an economical way to increase wind and snow load capacity. We take pride in the sturdy shelters we manufacture and supply, but must point out that we cannot warranty against weather conditions.

Snow removal, when occasionally required, is a simple task. Uneven snow loading is deceiving, since the total weight is not a problem but the lateral force can cause the hoops to distort.It is rare to have any significant snow build up on the roofs; however,

DO NOT GO INSIDE A BUILDING WHERE THERE HAS BEEN OBVIOUS STRESS!

Be aware of these scenarios where excessive snow build up is possible and damage could follow:
A wet snowfall followed by dropping temperatures
A building 90° to the prevailing wind (drifts could form on the backside of the building)
A building attached to and situated downwind of a taller building (significant drifting)

A building 90° to another building that has a higher roof, could cause a surge in snow weight when the snow on the upper roof slides off.

Preventative measures for excessive snow build up (where possible):

Build structures inline with the prevailing wind
Build structures level from side to side to create uniform shedding
Do not attach your building to a larger existing building

Install a heat source to melt the snow

Economical additions to increase your structure’s snow resistance:

Install cable or tubular cross-ties at each pair of hoops, to create a triangle (when using cables there is no need to put them under tension)
Place wooden or metal support posts under the ridge. These can be suspended from the ridge with no more than ½” ground clearance. This will provide support as soon as there is load and structure movement will not dislodge your supports.

Use closer hoop spacing for the first 12’ section away from another bigger building

Pointers for removing snow:

NEVER remove all the snow from one side and then the other
Remove the snow off the top of your building before using a machine (snow blower, etc) along the sides

Use a padded piece of 1×4 wood on a pole (create a “T” shape) as the best tool for gently bumping the inside of the cover

BEWARE of this sequence which creates a “worst case scenario”:

Freezing rain, followed by dropping temperatures, Lots of snow followed by rainfall. It is easy to triple the weight of the snow load in 30 minutes.

Please call us if you have any questions about any of this. Thank you

Winter Storm and Your Structures

Winter Storm & Your Structures

Many areas have been hit with freezing rain today and even though it has generally not been enough to warrant concern for the structures, it is a good time to recap some common things when dealing with ice on buildings.

It is important to note that the ice in itself is not an issue, even a very thick layer actually has enough strength to become self supporting. There are two potential problems though:

  • If the ice stays on the building, it usually has a rough enough texture that subsequent snow will not likely slide off. This scenario lead to major problems in previous winters when we had freezing rain, followed by a dump of snow and then we had rain. This can triple the weight on a building in very short order.
  • The other potential problem happens when you are attempting to remove the ice from the building. If the ice layer is not too significant you can gently bump the cover from the inside. ALWAYS start bumping the cover from the top. This way ice will slide over ice. Starting from the bottom creates a potential where the ice sliding down will fall back against the building and slash the cover. NEVER do all of one side and then the other. Work both sides simultaneously.

If there is the slightest doubt in your mind about the amount of weight on the building, bump the cover from the outside using something with a long handle.

If in doubt please don’t hesitate to ask.