Information on snow load, snow load zones by zip code and much more!

Below we have compiled some interesting and helpful information for you on the topics of snow load and snow load zones.

 

In addition, you can make an appointment for a consultation at any time, during which we will answer all your questions personally and individually.

If you wish, we will also be happy to advise you conveniently during a live video call.

Snow depth = snow load?

Not at all!

Powder snow is lighter than wet snow and wet snow is lighter than ice. The reason for this is the different weight of the snow depending on its condition. The weight of snow can therefore vary greatly regardless of the snow depth:

  • 10 cm of freshly fallen powder snow weighs about 10 kg/m²
  • 10 cm of wet snow can weigh up to 40 kg/m²
  • a 10 cm thick layer of ice weighs up to 90 kg/m²
  • in comparison, 10 cm of standing water weighs 100 kg/m²

Therefore, never underestimate the weight of the snow on your roof, no matter how high the snow is!

 

Source: "Der nächste Winter kommt bestimmt" leaflet of the Oberste Baubehörde im Bayerischen Staatsministerium des Innern, as of November 2012

 

Therefore, it is even more important that the snow load is measured correctly. Our Snow Load Guard weighs the snow load fully automatically - because when it comes to safety, we make no compromises!


Where is the snow load regulated?

DIN EN 1991-1-3:2010-12 "Actions on structures - Part 1-3: General actions, snow loads" and the associated national annex have been valid in Germany since December 2010. The standard is valid throughout the EU and has replaced the national standard DIN 1055-5.

 

By means of DIN EN 1991-1-3:2010-12, the snow load can be determined for each location of a building depending on the snow load zone and the ground elevation. The roof pitch and the roof shape are also taken into account in the calculation. 

 

As of April 2018


Determining snow load zones and snow loads

With the help of this free online tool, you can easily determine the snow load zone and snow load of your location.

These are divided in ascending order into snow load zone 1 (lowlands with little snowfall) to snow load zone 3 (mountains with heavy snowfall).

Please note that the information given is only an approximate estimate, as the current snow load zone map must be continuously adjusted due to new findings by the DWD (German Weather Service) and the snow load is influenced by other individual parameters. All data are therefore without guarantee.

 


DWD expert opinion: Snow load zones often classified too low

The Supreme Construction Authority in the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Transport informed in its letter of 19.01.2018 that the current snow load zones partly do not correspond to reality.

The basis of this finding is a current expert opinion of the DWD (German Weather Service), which compares the snow load measured values in five exemplary districts with the snow load zone data of DIN 1055-5:2005.

The results available so far show that the snow load zones were classified too low in 17 % of the investigated municipalities!

As a first safety measure for all critical buildings in the affected counties, the Supreme Building Authority therefore recommends, among other things, the installation of modern snow load monitoring systems.

 

Source:

Letter from the highest construction authority in the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Transport dated 19.01.2018. 

Official report of the DWD "Areal analysis of snow load measurements in five counties and their comparison with the snow load zone data of DIN 1055-5:2005 as a pilot investigation for the revision of the snow load zone map" of 05.05.2017.


Roofs in danger of collapsing in Bavaria - How great is the risk caused by snow load?

In the winter of 2018/2019, there is once again an extremely large amount of snow falling, causing massive obstructions and avalanches in many areas of the Alpine region. In some counties, even the disaster alert is declared.

 

Spiegel Online reports on 15.01.2019 in a major article about the danger of the snow load for Bavaria's roofs.


Related informations about snow load

  • "The next winter is coming for sure" - Leaflet of the Supreme Building Authority in the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior

The leaflet informs about everything worth knowing about snow load. Among other things, where it is regulated, how to measure the weight of snow and much more. Tips are also given on how to proceed when clearing roofs and when it is advisable to consult a specialist.

 

As of November 2012

  • Detailed article on snow load on Wikipedia - The free encyclopedia:
  • Definition of "snow load" according to the DWD (Deutscher Wetterdienst) weather dictionary: