Heavy Snow Loads and Steel Buildings

Posted on February 1, 2016

A steel building with snow covering its roof and surrounding the building

When it comes to constructing steel buildings, understanding and planning for heavy snow load is imperative, particularly in regions known for significant snowfall. The termheavy snow load” refers to the weight of snow and its impact on buildings, which can vary depending on the type and amount of snow, as well as the structure’s design. Worldwide Steel Buildings recognizes the critical nature of this issue and prioritizes the design of metal buildings that can confidently withstand these challenging conditions. This blog delves into the importance of considering heavy snow load in the construction and maintenance of steel structures. We will explore the potential effects of snow accumulation on steel buildings, key design considerations to ensure structural integrity, best practices for maintenance, and the importance of adhering to building codes. Worldwide Steel Buildings is committed to delivering steel structures – from metal garages to large-scale storage buildings – that meet and exceed the demands of heavy snow load environments.

What Snow Means For Your Building Needs

Heavy snow loads can pose serious risks to steel structures. The weight of snow accumulation, especially during blizzards or heavy snowfall, can lead to potential structural damage. This includes stress on trusses, eaves, and the building roof. Safety concerns for occupants cannot be overstated, as the risk of collapse or damage increases under heavy snow load. Additionally, the economic impacts due to damage or downtime can be significant, especially in commercial storage buildings or steel garages.

The good news is that steel and metal buildings from Worldwide Steel are built with what it takes to handle the heavy and harsh snow pile-ups required in each area of the country. In fact, it is found that metal and steel buildings may actually be better suited to handling higher snow loads than traditionally framed homes.

Key Considerations for Designing Steel Buildings in Heavy Snow Load Areas

In designing buildings for areas prone to heavy snowfall, Worldwide Steel Buildings considers several key factors. Structural reinforcement is a crucial aspect, including the use of sturdy trusses and robust building kits. Roof design, particularly the pitch, plays a significant role; a steeper roof pitch can help reduce snow buildup, enhancing the building’s ability to shed snow. Professional engineering evaluations are essential to ensure compliance with building codes, considering factors like ground snow load, wind load, and roof snow load.

Best Practices for Maintaining Steel Buildings in Heavy Snow Load Areas

Proper maintenance is essential for steel buildings in heavy snow load areas. Effective snow removal strategies and the use of specialized equipment can prevent issues like ice dams and excessive snow accumulation. Regular inspections are important for identifying and addressing damage or wear, especially after the winter season. Proactive maintenance, backed by the comprehensive warranty offered by Worldwide Steel Buildings, is vital for ensuring the longevity and safety of metal structures, including garages, carports, and larger buildings.


Snow is the heaviest and most dangerous when it is compacted. If you live in a climate where compacted snow could develop, then it is important to take weather precautions under consideration when building your structure. Compacted snow is heavy due to the layers of ice that form in between the layers of snow. Be educated about the weather risks in your area and know what you need your building to stand up against when making your choice of materials. Steel and metal buildings can be used for garages, workshops, and residential and commercial needs, and are easily insulated to make the inside just as comfortable as the outside is sturdy. 

Recognizing the importance of heavy snow load considerations in the design and maintenance of steel buildings is crucial. Worldwide Steel Buildings is dedicated to providing structures that are not only capable of withstanding the challenges of heavy snowfall but are also designed with safety, longevity, and efficiency in mind. We invite potential clients to consult with our team of building specialists and experts to benefit from our extensive experience in creating durable, reliable steel buildings for various needs and environments.

Are you planning a new building project in an area with heavy snowfall? Don’t let the winter weather catch you off guard. Contact Worldwide Steel Buildings now to discuss your project needs. Our team of building experts and specialists are ready to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring your structure is perfectly suited to withstand heavy snow loads. When the snow does fall, you want to rest assured that you have the strongest building design in the business. From small garages to massive work equipment sheds, you can get the confidence you need that you have a solid building that will stand up no matter the weather.

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