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old hickory buildings with heavy snow loads
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The 6 Best Sheds for Heavy Snow Loads

“It’s all ruined! If only you’d had a shed that could withstand the snowfall!”

Okay, that MIGHT be a little dramatic…or it might not! Either way, winter is on its way, and with winter comes snow. Now is the time to get the best shed for the heavy snow load for this winter.

Snow Loads Defined

The first thing you need to understand is a bit technical, the term “snow load.” Snow loads are the downward force on a building’s roof by the weight of accumulated snow and/or ice. Structural failure occurs when snow loads surpass the weight the roof was calculated to withstand.

Snow Loads PSFs

The second thing you need to know is that snow loads are measured in pounds per square foot, or PSF.

There are several options from Old Hickory Buildings and Sheds listed below, along with their PSF ratings. These buildings are built to withstand varying levels of snowfall. They range from 30 pounds per square foot to 140 pounds per square foot.

  1. The Utility Shed has three options: 30 PSF, 60 PSF, and 140 PSF.
  2. The Cabin/Office 40 has three options: PSF, 60 PSF, and 140 PSF.4.
  3. The Side Porch, Lofted Barn has three options: 40 PSF, 60 PSF, and 140 PSF.
  4. The Side Porch, Utility Style has three options: 40 PSF, 60 PSF, and 140 PSF.
  5. The Deluxe Porch, Lofted Barn has three options: 40 PSF, 60 PSF, and 140 PSF.
  6. The Deluxe Porch, Utility Style has three options: 40 PSF, 60 PSF, and 140 PSF.

The Weight of Snow and Ice

So, what PSF do you need? What is too little? What would be excessive? That brings us to the third thing you need to know about: the weight of snow

One cubic foot of light snow weighs about 3 pounds. A cubic foot of wet snow weighs 21 pounds. And a cubic foot of ice weighs a whopping 57 pounds!

What does all of this mean for you? Let’s look at snowfall in the past few years in our area.

Appleton averages 41 inches of snow per year, Stevens Point averages 45 inches, and Rhinelander and Schofield both average 56 inches of snow per year.

Of course, this is annual snowfall. It doesn’t all come at once! But in 2018, in one weekend, we did get 33 inches of snow in less than four days! That’s a lot of snow for a shed roof to hold.

How to Safely Remove Snow from Your Shed

When professionals remove snow, they do so wearing protective gear, including safety harnesses. Unless you have this type of protective gear, do not get on your shed’s roof to shovel off the snow! For one thing, you could fall. For another, you are adding additional weight to the roof you’re already worried about.

And attempting to remove snow from a shed while standing on a ladder? That is an accident just waiting to happen!

If you are going to use a rake to remove the snow, use a snow rake, specific to the job. Doing so prevents damage to your shed’s roof and decreases the chance of getting yourself buried by the snow, should it all slide off at once.

When you are removing the snow, do so in narrow strips to keep the snow load on your roof as balanced as possible during the process.

If you still have questions about snow loads, snowfall, and the best shed for your needs, give us a call today.

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