A Quick Tutorial on Snow Loads & What It Means for FSOLS Products

Frequently, customers ask what snow load refers to with regard to Four Seasons OLS patio covers. Well, the quick answer is "the amount of weight the patio cover can hold per square foot of roof." 

Four Seasons OLS makes patio covers in five snow loads: from 10 lbs. to 50lbs. The requirement differs in each U.S. region. Every city, based on frequency and amount of recorded annual snowfall, has a its own required snow load to meet local building codes.

Those customer seeking a permit to install a patio cover know to check in advance. But even if you are not getting a permit, snow load is an important factor in your decision making before purchasing one of our kits.

You can call or email us for this important information, or simply go online to your city's website and research that way too. In general, the higher the snow load, the thicker the aluminum used to manufacture our roof panels, and/or the greater the number of posts used to support the roof weight. While 20lbs. is the U.S. average, you should not order a patio cover before "uncovering" this info.

Wind rating is also affected by snow loads. The higher the snow load, the higher the wind rating usually is. The majority of our patio covers are rated at 115 mph, exceeding national codes. Except in areas like Florida that are located in a hurricane zone, all of patio covers will work for most areas of the country. One exception though is Florida which is in a hurricane zone. Many of these customers purchase the Contempra insulated roof patio cover in the 40lbs. snow load, not for snow concerns, but because the thicker aluminum used to make the roof panels also raises the wind rating to comply with those local building codes.

Even if you are not seeking a permit, it is best to be aware of your area's  requirements to avoid unnecessary damage in the event of extreme weather. It is hard to predict what Mother Nature has in store for us, but being armed with the correct information prior to purchase is one way to guard against "unhappy surprises."


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