How to Prevent Snow and Ice Damage on a Glass Structure

When they are not designed and manufactured properly, greenhouses, sunrooms, and other glass structures tend to experience failure due to ice, snow, rain, and wind. With the impending snow storm that will be sweeping much of the east coast this weekend, Solar Innovations, Inc. would like to take the time to discuss how to properly remove ice and snow from a glass structure to prevent long-term damage.



Don’t be deceived by the look and feel of snow. When soft and light, one foot contains as much water as one inch of rain, however, when it’s wet and heavy, it only requires about four inches to equal one inch of rain. Every inch of rainwater in snow equates to 5.2 pounds per square foot atop the glass structure. On a 25’ x 96’ greenhouse, this amounts to over 6 tons.  If there is any loose hardware, this may cause the structure to collapse.


Most greenhouses can melt snow and ice gradually utilizing their heating system. For structures with no heating system, or if users do not want to waste the energy, snow and ice can be remove manually as well. Begin in the center when removing snow, working in both directions to ensure there is always an even load on the roof, as the glass structure will be the most stable when the load is balanced on each side. Ice does not pose as big a problem as snow, so it can often remain on the structure and melt naturally. However, it can also be manually removed utilizing an ice scraper if needed.

When greenhouses are aged or poorly designed, their structure and hardware becomes vulnerable to the snow and ice. Greenhouses by Solar Innovations, Inc., however, are manufactured using sturdy aluminum to withstand some of the most severe weather conditions. Solar’s in-house team of experienced engineers work to ensure each custom project meets its performance requirements. The Company’s installation team can also provide service work, replacement, and restoration services to greenhouses and other structures to ensure they last for years to come, even when they are originally purchased from other manufacturers. Visit the Service page to learn more about Solar’s restoration capabilities and Contact a sales representative to begin your next project.