Snow Load Information...

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Aluminum Patio Covers & Carports

W Pan & Flat Pan Awning Kits



These patio covers can be used in a variety of applications... at your cottage, on your backyard patio or deck. Our do it yourself kits are the ultimate in strong and durable extruded aluminum, designed for low maintenance and long life.


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.023 ga. = .023" thick  / This simply references the thickness of the pan

How to read the table: For example in the table below...
8'6" is how far you can go 'away from the wall' before the .023" thick pan needs to be supported under a 20lb. load requirement

12" x 3"  Flat Roof Panel - Maximum Panel Simple Span

Live Load Wind Speed .023 ga. .030 ga.
20 90 8'6" 10'6"
30 90 7'6" 9'2"
40 90 5'8" 6'11"


8" Flat Roof Panel - Maximum Panel Simple Span

Live Load Wind Speed .023 ga. .030 ga. .040 ga.
20 90 7'7" 9'3" 10'10"
30 100 6'7" 8' 9'3"
40 120 5'7" 6'10" 7'11"


16" x 3"  W Roof Panel - Maximum Panel Simple Span
Live Load Wind Speed .019 ga. .025 ga. .032 ga.
20 90 7'5" 10'1" 11'1"
30 90 6'6" 8'10" 9'8"
40 90 5'6" 7'6" 8'9"


Our Represented Manufacturers are... Mason Corp.
Proudly assembled in the U.S. of A



Actual snow load calculations are quite complicated. The following is given
GENERALLY and to be uses as a guideline only...


It is our contention that all homeowners should be aware that heavy snow accumulations in your area could pose a potential problem with overloading of roofs. In particular, flat roofs with changes in elevation are vulnerable to snow drifting and thus heavier loading. Also, it is well known that snow that accumulates and remains on a roof over a prolonged period of time tends to both compact and change into a heavier crystalline form. With the accumulation of additional snow, overloading and even failure of the supporting roof structure is possible.

One season we had a wet snow about 12-18 inches deep over the New England states. The first several inches were very wet and became ice quite quickly. With the initial layer of ice plus the subsequent snow falls we soon began to receive calls from customers asking whether they should be concerned about the weight of the snow on their roofs. To address these concerns, you have to first estimate how much the snow weighs, and, secondly, how much weight the roof structure can support.

Snow typically weighs anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds per cubic foot, depending on how wet it is. A one-inch layer of water or ice weighs approximately five pounds per square foot. So a roof designed for a 20-pounds-per-square-foot snow load could theoretically hold up four inches of ice. How much snow is that?


This calculation is based on a 25% moisture density which is conservative. As a rule, saturated snow weighs about 20 lbs. per cubic foot. The moisture content of snow can range from 1% to 33%, which relates to weights of 1 pound to over 30 pounds per cubic foot.


Calculation: S x 1.25 = P where:

S = inches of snow on the roof (depth)

1.25 = Weight of 1 sq. ft. of snow for each 1 inch of depth

P = pounds per square foot


Example: If the snow on your roof is 20 inches deep then 20 x 1.25 = 25 lbs. per square foot of load.

Note that this level of loading, 25 pounds per square foot, is not intended to last all winter; there is a fatigue factor. A roof may be able to support this snow load for several days or a few weeks, probably no more than 30 days.

Responsible parties should ensure that roofs are continually monitored during periods of heavy snow accumulations and repeated snow falls. Remember that greater snow accumulations may occur from one storm than from another due to changes in wind velocity and direction.

Additional notes:

  • An unrated system would be able to sustain 30-40 mph winds
  • A 20 psf. rating is roughly equal to a roof being able to sustain 4" of standing water.
  • A 20 psf. rating would be able to sustain 90 mph winds.
  • A 30 psf. rating would be able to sustain 90+ mph winds.
  • A 40 psf. rating would be able to sustain 90+ mph winds.

A light fluffy snowfall will weigh an average of 8 pounds per cubic foot. In order to get up to a 20 psf. snow load rating you could allow 2.5 feet of fluffy snow to fall.

A wet snow fall will weigh an average of 32 pounds per cubic foot. In order to get up to a 20 psf. snow load rating you could allow 8" of wet snow to fall



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Revised: Tues July 18, 2017.