Flexible membrane: how to clear snow from a canvas dome

Permodome buildings for sale are designed to withstand heavy snow loads, thanks in particular to the NOVASHIELD membrane, tested for its tensile strength. However, as with any building, certain conditions require snow removal!

We’ll help you find out when to clear the snow, and then explain the steps you need to take to clear your membrane.

Snow accumulations: when to clear?

First of all, it’s worth noting that canvas domes are ideal for winter use, given their shape, which makes it easier for snow to slide off. This means you probably won’t have to clear your building of snow very often.

However, even the sturdiest roof needs to be cleared of snow when it accumulates too much! This is the case, for example, during snowstorms or heavy precipitation. No matter how strong the structure, too much weight can cause it to collapse. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec reminds you to be vigilant:

As the owner of a building, you are primarily responsible for the safety of the public using or accessing your building.

How can you tell when it’s the right time to clear snow from a canvas building? Simply look at the height of the snow accumulation.

If it exceeds 40 cm, it’s time to clear the snow. Similarly, if there’s more snow on one side of the building, removing the snow from the membrane will prevent damage.

  • So be sure to carry out regular visual inspections, paying particular attention to :
  • Irregularities between the ends
  • Irregularities between sides
  • Accumulations of 40 cm or more
  • Around the building

The perimeter of the building should always be kept clear to allow snow to sink to the ground. So remember to check and clear it if necessary. Especially after a storm, an inspection is a must!

Safety first and foremost

If you’d like to remove the snow from your flexible membrane yourself, it’s perfectly possible. Before we explain how to do it, however, we’d like to remind you that safety comes first.

To avoid any incidents, it’s important to equip yourself with safety equipment such as a safety harness and safety boots. Also, make sure you don’t stand directly under the snow load, or you could be buried. And don’t use heat sources that produce toxic fumes.

Don’t forget that you can always call on experts to take care of snow removal for your insulating blanket. The Permo Industries team offers maintenance and repair services to help you keep your building in good condition with complete peace of mind.

Snow removal equipment

If you have chosen to clear the snow yourself, you will need the following equipment:

  • A plastic shovel
  • A nacelle
  • A tractor equipped with a snowblower
  • Safety equipment (boots and harness)

Be sure to choose a shovel without sharp edges, and not to use a scraper or heating object on the canvas. While this may seem like a good option once a layer of ice has formed, it could cause damage to your canvas.

Steps to follow

Before clearing the snow from the building, start by clearing the sides with the tractor. By removing all the snow on the ground, you’ll create space for the snow on the building to slide off.

Then start by clearing the snow from the center of the roof, to avoid creating an imbalance. To clear the snow, place the shovel flat against the bottom of the snow load: proceeding from bottom to top will allow the snow to slide off easily.

After the center of one side, move towards the center of the other side, progressing as symmetrically as possible. After the sides, move to the ends and proceed in the same way.

Finally, once you’ve cleared all the snow from the building, you’re sure to have accumulated some snow around it. The tractor will come in handy a second time to clear the sides of the building.

Whether you’re in the agricultural or industrial sector, our canvas dome buildings for sale are an ideal solution for all seasons. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your project or maintenance needs! Permo Industries in Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil, near Longueuil, Chambly, Saint-Hyacinthe and just a few minutes from Montreal, offers tailor-made solutions.