Your roof is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. However, your roof isn’t indestructible—there’s a limit to what it can endure. In this post, Dior Construction, one of the leading residential roofing contractors in the area, talks about how much snow your roof can handle before it collapses from the weight.
Do the Math
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), fresh snow can weigh as little as three pounds per square foot, while wet snow weighs in at a hefty 21 pounds per square foot. Stale snow that has solidified into ice, however, weighs the heaviest at a whopping 57 pounds per square foot. The average American roof is 2,000 square feet. A majority of roofs can handle about 20 pounds of snow per square foot, with the exception of roofs installed before 1975.
Assuming that 10 inches of snow is about five pounds per square foot, your roof should be able to handle around four feet of fresh snow. Note that the weight increases as new snow mixes with the old. The compounded weight may exceed your roof’s load capacity at an unpredictable rate.
Snow Removal Options
Most residential roof repair companies will advise against removing snow from your roof on your own, as this activity is dangerous and requires the help of professionals. However, if your roof can be accessed without climbing it, you can remove excess snow using a roof rake with a long extension arm. Keep in mind that removing all the snow will do more structural harm than good. Two inches of snow is an acceptable amount to leave on your roof. Lastly, make sure the snow will not fall on you or any bystanders.
If your roof exhibits symptoms of being overstressed such as creaking and leaking, it’s best to call a reputable roofing installation company for the best course of action. It’s also wise to evacuate the area to avoid injuries should your roof collapse.
Dior Construction installs only the best roofing materials. Call us today at (201) 470-5077 to schedule your in-home consultation. We serve Essex County, NJ.