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RE: retaining snow loads

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At 03:56 PM 9/16/99 -0400, you wrote:
>All snow except new fallen snow will create a vertical edge if cut
>through with a shovel.  In other words snow will not produce a lateral
>load unless intentionally packed (or dumped) against a structure.  New
Not always.

You might want to contact an "avalanche/snow expert".  We work with one
located in the Tahoe region, Norm Wilson.  He recommends we consider  snow
"creep" when a home is located below a long empty slope.  Don't forget that
snow will also set against unheated garage structures and homes owned by
second homeowners who drain down their pipes and turn off their heat in the
winter when they are not visiting.    Norm recommended to us that we design
like you might design for a retaining wall holding back dirt.  In Mammoth
Lakes where my front yard typically has 6 to 10 feet of snow, there have
been years where the snow has laid AGAINST my windows whether its 70
degrees in the house or not--that's why we put plywood over the windows
when it gets deep.  The window companies actually have specs on thickness
of glass vs size of window vs loads (usually wind, but you can convert it).

Also, our codes require a 1.5 times snow load for "impact" loads--roofs
shedding on decks etc.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jeff Smith [mailto:smthengr(--nospam--at)]
>Sent: Thursday, September 16, 1999 2:41 PM
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>Subject: retaining snow loads
>Can anyone tell me how to apply lateral loads due to snow. For example,
>you have 10 feet of snow against walls and or windows, what forces (if
>should the wall framing and for that matter window glazing be designed
>I have never actually seen snow build up against glass since the
>difference usually keeps the snow off the glass.
Debby Hight
Triad/Holmes Assoc.
P.O. Box 1570
Mammoth Lakes CA 93546
       -5619 fax