While snow can be beautiful on your roof, many of you aren’t aware of the damage it can create.
If properly built, your roof should be able to support up to 20 pounds per square foot of snow, as mentioned by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.
In this article, we discuss the guidelines to determine how much weight of snow is sitting on your roof and the obvious signs that your roof has “too much” snow.
1. How Much Weight of Snow Can Your Roof Handle?
- Powder snow: Powder snow also known as soft snow is freshly fallen snow and tends to be lightweight. Furthermore, approximately four feet of powder snow on your roof would equal 20 pounds per square foot.
- Packed snow: Packed snow also known as old snow looks firmly packed as it refroze due to the low temperatures. Heavier than powder snow, approximately two feet of packed snow would equal 20 pounds per square foot.
- Powder + packed snow: A mixture of both types of snow would need to be around two up to three feet of both combined to equal 20 pounds per square foot.
Note that flat roofs are more likely to collapse compared to pitched roofs as their structure easily accumulates snow and water, which potentially leads to water damage.
Therefore, if you have a flat roof, it’s important to consider removing the snow beforehand to prevent any structural damage.
2. Signs That Your Roof Has Too Much Snow
- Noise coming from the roof: Any unusual noise coming from the roof such as cracking/ popping ones, could be a sign that your roof’s structure is being damaged by the snow.
- Leaking/ water stains on your ceiling: Leaking and water stains on your ceiling are a clear indicator that excess snow has damaged your roof and the melting water is penetrating inside your home which can lead to mold, mildew, and water damage.
- Sagging: If you visually notice that your roof is sagging from outside, this could be a sign that your roof is collapsing and you need to call a professional roofing company ASAP.