Removal of compressed/packed snow that fell from a roof

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
Looking for input as to the best solution. I have a metal building with a metal roof and the snow slides off the roof and compacts alongside the building. I would like to remove the snow from the sides of the building and have the following challenges.

- I don't live where the building is so it can be a day or sometimes two days till I get out there to clean up the snow giving it opportunity to freeze or compact based on temperature and sun etc.

- The building is 15' interior height and the span of the metal roof is 34' per side. This elevation and amount of snow that slides off compacts on impact and results in piles alongside the building that can be 3 to 6 feet high and several feet wide.

- The south side of the building has a slope away from the building of about 3" per foot so there is a slant that allows runoff however also leads to equipment sliding sideways if trying to work down the side of the building. Also not practical for a truck with a plow as the egress to run parallel to the building side is limited.

- The north side has a space of about 5 and 1/2 feet to the fence on the adjoining property. The building is 60' feet long and the desire would be to move the snow the 60' to the rear of the building where there is an open area.

Trying to figure out the logical piece of equipment to clear the snow away from the south side as this is a parking area once the snow is off the roof. Also would like to clear the north side (narrow channel along the fence) so I can access the rear of the property if necessary and also to eliminate the risk of water from additional rain or melting snow from entering the building.

Tractor with a front blower ? (I don't think a rear blower is for me and I do not think an inverted would be optimal for this application) What HP would be necessary to move this amount of snow and then re-blow the snow to make the 60' run down the side of the building ? I was considering a tractor anyway so this may be the way to go. Anyone have experience blowing this amount of snow in a 60' plus straight line ? Is it doable ?

Other thought was a blower on a skid steer. I have an older skid so this could be an economical solution except that I do not have a high flow machine. Would regular flow move the snow ? The skid would allow me to raise the blower and take the top off, back up and take the lower, repeat etc.. I think the real question here is would the standard flow hydraulics move the snow multiple times down the length of the building ?

Thanks for any thoughts on the way to go here and also looking for any real world experience in tractors or skids moving the snow multiple times down a narrow channel. I also would like to be as cost conscious as possible. I asked a few snow contractors about clearing the area and they all indicated they were not equipped and actually had no idea of how to approach it. They all seemed to be using a truck with a plow and it is not practical for the one side and far too wide for the narrow aspect.
 

WIPensFan

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Southern WI
At least OP gave a detailed post. Pics would give a much better idea of what’s going on here. I’m sure you can move the snow a few times but of course it will be more difficult towards the end. Hydromaster gave a good idea, especially if it’s a high flow setup.
 

theplowmeister

2000 Club Member
Location
MA
I could be wrong but... Just where is he going to blow the snow? 60 ft to the back of the building or over the fence onto the other property?

Keep the skid with a bucket in the rear. Dig it out going to the front caring the snow to the rear. If the snow doesn't damage the side of the building when trying to scoop it up.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
1-Why move it?
2-If has to be removed,right now, a bucket will be the way. But I sure do not want to do it.
3-For next and upcoming winters, have building owner install a heated drainage system, along with snow melting mats.
4-As is warming up, just salt the hell out of it---
 
OP
J

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
Thanks for the ideas and recommendations. To address a few of the questions and to provide a little more info:

Pictures would be very helpful and I should have thought of that. I will try to get some if I can get there over the next few days while it is still light out. Thanks

Renting a skid with a blower is a great idea although I would prefer to own the equipment as it would be needed multiple times per year I do own a skid steer now with standard flow so I was trying to gets thought on whether hi flow was absolutely necessary to get it done.

The snow would be blown to the rear of the building as there is about 20 feet past the building to pile it up in. Over the fence is a house so not really viable for all of the snow, perhaps some but not all. And I cant get the skid steer all the way back there as there is a tree about 12 feet from the rear of the building that narrows the path down to less than the width of the skid steer so it would be blown past the tree without driving further down. A compact tractor with a smaller width blower would make it through. It also would be not my preference to leave any of the equipment back there.

The reason for moving the snow is to minimize risk of water entering the building. The adjoining property is higher and while we have tried to slope away from the building into a trench pitched towards the front and rear for drainage, the desire to move the snow as insurance remains.

Heated drainage and mats are very unlikely and would the mats melt snow effectively when it slides off a roof in tons ?

Salt, perhaps, good idea.

Thanks !!!!
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Blowing snow 60',over and over? Everything you described just sounds like a no win situation,economically. Walk away, and let the owners deal with it.
 

racer47

Senior Member
Location
ohio45601
have the owner of building call roofing contractor and have snow and ice guard installed on roof .it keeps snow and ice from sliding off roofs that way it will stay on roof and melt off google it i install on all metal roofs, except my own shop .and when it slides off you no it :laugh:
 
OP
J

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
Thanks for all the suggestions, lots of good ideas. If we take any possibility of building or landscape modifications out of the mix and look only at equipment needed to accomplish the task regardless of economic feasibility.........

Pros and cons of and experience with ?
Tractor with front blower and what horsepower would be required to blow and re-blow the snow to clear the 60 foot channel ?

Skid steer blower, would hi flow be absolutely necessary or would standard flow be able to do the task albeit slower ?

Thanks for the input.
 

bluejlandscaper

Senior Member
I Just had to do that recently with my own building. Snow slid off the roof was so compacted and froze up so tight , no snowblower would of moved it at all. I used my Toro Dingo with a 44" bucket to move the snow away from the 60' length of my building. Had to do some hand shoveling up close which was a real struggle. No snow shovel would penetrate the frozen mess, had to use a square edge barn shovel. Next I took my 45 hp tractor with the bucket to move the snow to the end where I piled it. With temps next week close to 60* it will melt up fast.
racer 47 hit it on the head, Install ice guards on the metal roof and that will end the slide off. This was the worst time for me in the many years that I had my building.
 

jonniesmooth

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Minnesota
So here's a question I don't think has been asked.
Are they currently blowing( or otherwise removing )the regular accumulation of snow periodically?
What I'm getting at is, would it be easier to move the snow that falls off the roof if it was falling on the ground ? And not falling on a foot of snow?
A good way to upsell and make more money.
Or maybe you would only need to do it once?
Before the weather turns and it starts to warm up?
Or maybe a date when the sun has shifted and starts to hit the roof more?
Those 2 factors were huge for us in knowing when to turn our heat tape on ,on our roof at our old house . So when the snow at the peak melted it didn't re freeze at the gutter.
Maybe heat tape would work on this roof?
It could all melt and run out the downspout?
 
OP
J

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
So here's a question I don't think has been asked.
Are they currently blowing( or otherwise removing )the regular accumulation of snow periodically?
What I'm getting at is, would it be easier to move the snow that falls off the roof if it was falling on the ground ? And not falling on a foot of snow?
A good way to upsell and make more money.
Or maybe you would only need to do it once?
Before the weather turns and it starts to warm up?
Or maybe a date when the sun has shifted and starts to hit the roof more?
Those 2 factors were huge for us in knowing when to turn our heat tape on ,on our roof at our old house . So when the snow at the peak melted it didn't re freeze at the gutter.
Maybe heat tape would work on this roof?
It could all melt and run out the downspout?

The building was only recently completed so there is not much by way of history. The snow has been cleared routinely from the parking area side and less routinely from the 60' narrow side. As mentioned in the original post I sometimes can't get there before the snow comes off the roof. The pitch is significant so it doesn't linger up there. Currently there are no gutters or heat tape etc..
To your point, the initial ground snow is moved before the roof snow falls whenever possible and that is being done with a skid steer (bucket) and a walk behind blower currently. Looking for experience with tractor front blowers and skid steer blowers (standard or hi flow) to see if if I can get this done while sitting !!!!
 

jonniesmooth

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Minnesota
I think a skidsteer w / high-flow for the blower will do what you need. If it is too hard you may have to use 2 skids. One with a bucket to break and fluff it up then the other to blow it away. I picture breaking up 10' at s time then blowing it away.
A front mount tractor blower isn't going to have the ability to blow the top off. They only lift 12-15" off the ground.
A 3pt blower on the tractor would do what you need.
I have a 4' blower on a 1025r. I blew back piles the other night,but didn't take any pictures.
 
OP
J

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
I think a skidsteer w / high-flow for the blower will do what you need. If it is too hard you may have to use 2 skids. One with a bucket to break and fluff it up then the other to blow it away. I picture breaking up 10' at s time then blowing it away.
A front mount tractor blower isn't going to have the ability to blow the top off. They only lift 12-15" off the ground.
A 3pt blower on the tractor would do what you need.
I have a 4' blower on a 1025r. I blew back piles the other night,but didn't take any pictures.


Thanks for the input and videos.

I agree the skid steer with high flow would be the ideal however the machine I already have is standard flow. Do you think that would move the snow ? obviously it would take more time etc but I would only be buying a blower vs different machine and blower. Thoughts or experience ?

The tractor is impressive and I would have a few other uses for a tractor also.

Thanks and be well.
 

demetrios007

Senior Member
Location
Morris County,NJ
They make blowers for non hi flow the gearing and amount you can shoot changes.
I second the ice guards for the roof. They work great and allow for natural melting. Should always have them on metal roofs in snow country
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Well, small blowers are slow. Even with no wind,blowers create quite a mess many feet from either side.But,if it is an industrial building,no windows,no problem. But,technology gets better with age. Neighbor gal has a new bobcat 5600 toolcat,with the big blower,and kept her and neighbors road across the top of the ridge open all winter, until little over a week ago.0 temps,60-80 mph winds, picked up snow off the hills,closed in the road,2' to 4' deep. She could not ram the bob into it enough to break it up, and then her neighbor threw a track off his D6, so I went and dug them out with my old case 580 backhoe.BUT,once I cleared a path,she could take that toolcat into the broken up edges,and move it out.Was fun watching that little thing chew up huge frozen layers(I figured 3-5 different layers of crust,from the wind storm). Yes, it has chains on it,also. BTY, it would blow snow, about 35-40 ft,no wind involved.I'm sure would be much less with wind, but I was impressed with that machine/blower.
 
OP
J

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
They make blowers for non hi flow the gearing and amount you can shoot changes.
I second the ice guards for the roof. They work great and allow for natural melting. Should always have them on metal roofs in snow country


Thanks. I do not think ice guards are in the plan as the preference is to have the snow leave the roof as soon as possible so snow load is never becomes an issue with multiple storms and rain etc...
 
OP
J

joea47

Junior Member
Location
upstate ny
Well, small blowers are slow. Even with no wind,blowers create quite a mess many feet from either side.But,if it is an industrial building,no windows,no problem. But,technology gets better with age. Neighbor gal has a new bobcat 5600 toolcat,with the big blower,and kept her and neighbors road across the top of the ridge open all winter, until little over a week ago.0 temps,60-80 mph winds, picked up snow off the hills,closed in the road,2' to 4' deep. She could not ram the bob into it enough to break it up, and then her neighbor threw a track off his D6, so I went and dug them out with my old case 580 backhoe.BUT,once I cleared a path,she could take that toolcat into the broken up edges,and move it out.Was fun watching that little thing chew up huge frozen layers(I figured 3-5 different layers of crust,from the wind storm). Yes, it has chains on it,also. BTY, it would blow snow, about 35-40 ft,no wind involved.I'm sure would be much less with wind, but I was impressed with that machine/blower.


I have watched a few videos of the toolcat and they look pretty cool. The RTV K connect is also nice however toolcat has an advantage in my situation with the ability to lift the blower higher. The challenge is that I really don't have any other use for the toolcat other than as a snowblower so it makes it hard to justify.
 

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