How Much Snow Can A Roof Hold?

How Much Snow Can A Roof Hold?
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: November 4, 2021
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Now that autumn has arrived, homes can be transformed into beautiful and calm winter wonderlands in no time. While these landscapes are beautiful, the snow can cause harm to your home, primarily when a roof can only support so much snow.

The weight of piled snow can cause serious problems such as roof leaks, interior water damage, ice dams, and even roof collapse.

Don’t worry; we have put together some valuable suggestions to show you how much snow your roof can bear before danger arises, as well as information on how to safely and efficiently clear snow from your roof throughout the winter. So, you can enjoy your winter season without the fear of the roof collapsing!

Determine The Amount Of Snow Roof Can Hold

Still not sure if it’s time to clean the snow from your roof? If the interior doors of your home are difficult to close or rub, or if you find cracks in the walls or ceiling deformation, you must act soon to avoid structural collapse or water intrusion. Use the following guidelines to assess when the snow on your roof is reaching this weight limit:

  • Freshly fallen snow weighs about 20 pounds per square foot.
  • Two feet of old, packed snow weigh approximately 20 pounds.
  • Two to three feet of new and old snow now equals 20 pounds per square foot.

Keep in mind when assessing your roof that flat roofs are more vulnerable to roof collapse due to the whole combined snow weight. This is because meltwater on flat roofs has a more significant probability of refreezing before running off as it would on sloped roofs.

The Amount Of Hold Snow Depends On Roof Design

Roofs come in various types and patterns, which might have an impact on their ability to hold snow. If your roof is steep and smooth, snow will slide off with ease. A flat or slightly sloping roof, on the other hand, will hold more snow. However, just because it can hold much snow doesn’t mean it should.

That’s why a single-sided gable roof is suitable for places with high snowfall. Complex roofs with varied inclines will struggle to shed snow, ice, or water. If you have any openings in your roof, they will weaken it. As a result, a roof with skylights, for example, will not operate as effectively as a roof with no openings for snow.

Call a trustworthy roofing firm to replace outdated roofs. They will examine your roof and consider all of the variables that influence how much snow it can store.

Then they can tell you how much snow a roof can hold based on their previous experience. They might suggest that you do some repairs if there’s anything you can do to strengthen your roof.

1) Inspect The Roof Firstly

If your gutters are overflowing and water cannot drain, ice may form at the base of your roof. An ice dam is a type of ice dam that can result in broken shingles, gutter damage, roof leaks, structural damage, wet insulation, and mildew.

Go for a free inspection to avoid ice dams. Professionals will check whether your attic is adequately aired if your gutters are clear and have enough insulation. Even when it’s hot during the day and cold at night, attic ventilation is essential because it allows heat to leave and prevents excessive drainage.

2) What Do You Need To Do Initially?

You must clean your roof of snow to guarantee that your home is safe. This will protect your gutters, lower the efficacy of your roof-mounted ventilation equipment, and cause structural damage to the building.

Furthermore, due to the risk of avalanches, snow accumulation poses a threat to those traveling near the building. A roofing shovel is the safest and most cost-effective way to clear snow.

3) Don’t Try To Remove The Snow Yourself

More individuals are injured attempting to remove snow than are injured in roof collapses. Unless you can easily reach up and drag the top layers of snow down with a long pole or rake, we recommend hiring a professional to remove the snow. It’s not a brilliant idea to climb up on your roof in the snow and ice!

You can also harm your shingles if you don’t just remove the top layers of snow and leave a couple of inches. Please don’t risk anything.

Rain and ice add to the weight of the snow that has already fallen. Climbing onto a snow-covered roof to remove accumulations is not recommended. Not only may the extra human weight cause the roof to collapse, but the slick and unstable surface could also be extremely deadly.

When clearing snow from a roof, always use caution and safety precautions, and if in doubt, call a professional. The best solution to draw snow from the roof to the ground is to use a roof rake with an extended handle.

Final Verdict

You must remove the excess snow from your roof to protect your house and family. Even though different places create different types of snow, it’s critical to know how much weight your roof can withstand. Furthermore, heavy rain or an unexpected snowstorm can rapidly increase the snow burden.

So, if you see roof leaks or cracks, get out of the house right once and hire a professional to clear the snow and ice for you. Finally, it is not required to remove all of the snow when clearing it. Leaving a thin covering on the roof will protect it from harm and allow water to flow freely as the weather warms.

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.