Roof Snow Removal, Ice and Snow Loads on Roofs

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) has extensive experience with roof snow removal, ice dam removal, and emergency roof response. Rooftop Snow Removal in the following cities: Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and points between.

A Snowfall Warning was Issued at 4:21am for Edmonton, Red Deer, and other parts of Alberta.

The current question remains : Will the roofs be able to hold 15 – 20 cm if we actually receive that amount of snow on our roofs. 

Environment Canada Snowfall Advisory that is presently released by the weather network

General Roofing Roof Snow Removal Crew on Industrial Roof

Snowfall Warning

Issued at 4:21 AM MST Friday 24 February 2012


Snow is on the way.


A strong low pressure system off the British Columbia coast is forecast to track into Alberta today. Snow will begin in the Whitecourt region late this afternoon and will spread east southeastward into the Edmonton region by late evening. 10 to 15 centimetres of snow is expected by Saturday evening.
Snow removal services are a key part of our business. So when weather advisories like this occur, we are not disappointed as it enables our roofers to remain busy during the winter months.

HOWEVER, considering what happened last winter where  roof collapses were almost daily  due to business owners with commercial buildings in Edmonton, Red Deer, and other areas of central and northern Alberta being caught off guard and not able to get the snow off their roof-tops.

SNOW REMOVAL from a flat roof in a timely fashion is serious issue that GRS does not take lightly,

One of our main concerns is with some  owner’s of the commercial buildings, especially those with large roof spans that have had major snow loads on their roofs last winter and have not taken the steps to structurally repair their roof systems.  So when this amount of snow gets dumped on the roofs,  Especially in one fall in such a short period of time, the snow will then get wetter and heavier causing more damage. Once the snow melts it is almost guaranteed that there will be a significant amount of damage and problems. We can almost expect a significant amount of calls coming from the Edmonton, Red Deer and area this weekend and next week.

HOW MUCH SNOW CAN A FLAT ROOF IN GOOD STRUCTURAL CONDITION HOLD WITHOUT IT COLLAPSING? The answer to that question is complicated. It depends on the roof span of the trusses, whether or not it is a flat roof or sloped roof etc. Last year there were roofs with less than 18″ that collapsed, but these were poorly designed and had very large roof spans.  The problem is not just specifically snow, it is the rain on snow and the melting snow turning to ice or blocked roof drains when rains come. Considering the storms that Alberta had last winter with such drastic snow loads, there is a strong  likelihood that many roof systems were weakened. Our advise is to remove snow from flat roofs  in Alberta , especially if the snow loads are predicted to be quite large.

For more information on roof snow removal, ice dams, snow loads, attic ventilation and condensation, and various other things that occur to roofs when snow and ice cause havoc, you can search our blog. We have a number of articles written by our crews that have fought the snow loads on rooftops last season.


General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS) is a Comprehensive Building Envelope and Roofing Contractor serving Western Canada. Including such areas as: Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Saskatoon, Regina, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Canmore, Kelowna, Vancouver, Whistler, and various points between.

General Roofing Systems Canada (GRS)
24 Hour Emergency Roof Repair: Call +1.877.497.3528 toll-free.

Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster, Canmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Whistler, Cranbrook, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and all points between. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario.