Snow Accumulation and Your Roof


Snowfall for the month of December has been non-existent and a lot of people are happy with that. Unfortunately, this won’t last and snow will eventually rear its ugly head. Shoveling your driveway is always a priority when it snows, but what about your roof? Your roof can handle mother nature, but too much of her snow may cause some serious damage.

Maximum Load
A healthy and properly installed roof can handle up to 20 pounds per square foot of snow. After this threshold the roof can become stressed, weakened, and prone to collapsing. For those who live in areas, such as the Northeast, they may want to have their roof checked to make sure that it is structurally sound.

Figuring out what the maximum amount of snow on a roof should be can be tough to do, but there are some general limitations.

  • Fresh: Five pounds per square foot is equal to 10-12 inches of fresh snow. Therefore, do not let snow accumulate passed four feet of fresh snow.
  • Old: Five pounds per square foot is equal to three to five inches of old, packed snow. Therefore, do not let snow accumulate passed the two feet mark.
  • Mixed: Throughout the winter there’s a good chance that it will snow in consecutive days, adding fresh snow on top of older snow. A mix of two feet of fresh and old snow each is equivalent to almost 60 pounds per square foot — triple the capacity of most roofs.
  • Ice: One inch of ice is equivalent to one foot of fresh snow. Do not allow your roof to collect more than four inches of ice or you will run into some serious trouble.

If you feel like your roof needs inspection, or if it becomes damaged this winter, be sure to contact the professionals at Preferred Exterior. To learn more, or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (516) 354-7252.

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