- Nov 18, 2015 2:09 pm
Flat roofs come with their own unique challenges. In areas with regular snowfall, managing snow load and drainage is critical. While structural design is an important part of handling snow and ice, let’s take a look at some areas where radiant heat can play a role.
All roofs must be able to handle the weight of snow and ice, but flat roofs are particularly susceptible to snow accumulation. This is handled in many ways, and radiant heat can play an important role in preserving and protecting a roof.
To ensure snow never accumulates, the entire flat roof can be heated. Alternatively, large sections of the roof can be heated, lowering the total snow load and increasing solar gain as the sun works to clear the rest of the roof.
Drains are often used to keep flat roofs clear. As snow and ice melt, drains provide additional paths for water to run off the roof. This only works however if the drains stay clear and accessible. Adding roof deicing to areas around drains can keep them flowing all winter long. Paths can also be created for water to run to drains.
In some instances, snow drifts occur on roofs. In nooks and crannies, and shaded areas, these snow drifts can build up to the point where they pose a threat to the roof. Heating these areas is a great way to prevent drifting snow and ice and protect the roof. This case study reviews the installation of a deicing system to prevent drifting snow on a membrane roof.
It is not unusual for large commercial buildings to require maintenance access to the roof. In this instance, heating the roof can provide safe paths for employees to access critical areas.