We’re heading straight into winter and that means we’ll be hit with considerable amounts of snow before we know it. When snow falls, especially when it starts accumulating, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to start worrying about what’s on top of their roof, and for good reason. If you’ve ever shoveled snow before, you know how heavy it can be at times, and that could make you start worrying about how much weight your roof can actually support.
Pounds Per Square Inch
Roofs measure their weight-holding capacity in pounds per square inch. Generally speaking, a roof can support roughly 20 pounds per square inch, as long as there is no damage to the structure.
In some areas of the United States, particularly those that receive higher annual snowfall, snow loads are considered during building, and roofs in these areas can often support a bit more weight per square inch.
How Much Fresh Snow Can My Roof Support?
When it comes to fresh, powder snow, 10-12 inches is equal to roughly one inch of water. This equates to roughly 5lb per square inch, so the typical roof can support about 4 feet of fresh snow before it starts exerting excess stress on the roof.
How Much Packed Snow Can My Roof Support?
You probably know that packed snow weighs more per square inch than light, fluffy snow and that means your roof can handle much less of it before it begins to stress. About 3-5 inches of old, or packed snow is equal to one inch of water. This means your roof can only handle about 2 feet of packed snow before it becomes too much.
How Much Ice Can My Roof Support?
Ice is the heaviest of them all with 1 inch equalling 1 foot of fresh snow. This means about 4 inches of ice is the maximum amount your roof can handle before it hits its limit.
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