How Much Snow Can My Roof Hold?

How Much Snow Can My Roof Hold?

Posted on January 9, 2019 · Posted in Roof Maintenance, Roofing Education, Roofing Safety

Snow in Maine is pretty much an inevitable fact over the winter months.

Protecting your home investment is crucial, particularly when the snow on your roof begins to pile up.

Roofs that are flat or with pitches that are not steep can offer particular challenges in keeping snow from building up. There is information every homeowner needs to be aware of about their particular roof to make sure it remains structurally sound when the white stuff starts to fall.

Too Much Snow?

How much snow is too much snow for your roof to handle and at what point is the snow on your roof dangerous? That is a question best answered through an analysis by professional engineers. The fact is, there are many variables when considering how much snow is too much. The age of the home, the age of the roof, the quality of materials, the amount of snow and the weight of the snow are just a few of the factors to think about. Homeowners should consult with engineers when purchasing a property, to determine how structurally sound their roof is. This is especially important when buying a property they do not have the roof history on.

Snow Varies in Weight

It is not just the volume of snow you need to be concerned with, it is also important to consider how much the snow weighs since it can vary in density. Generally, every foot of snow puts about 15 pounds per square foot of pressure on a roof. But when you calculate that in density, that pressure can be as low as 5 pounds or as heavy as 50 pounds, for the same volume of snow.

Most roofs can withstand 20 pounds per square foot of snow. So, fresh fluffy snow weighs a lot less. But packed and moisture-laden dense snow can weigh much more, so it shouldn’t be allowed to build up greater than a couple of feet. An inch of ice, which often forms under a blanket of snow, is equal in weight to a foot of fresh snow.

Keeping Your Roof Free of Snow and Ice

We do not recommend that homeowners get on their roofs to remove snow or ice. This is a job best left to prepared and experienced professionals. If you are concerned about snow and ice on your roof, we offer roof maintenance services at Horch Roofing to prevent leaking or potential damage to your property. We can also keep an eye out for any compromised materials that may need repair or replacement as a result of harsh weather impacts over the winter months.

We would love to talk with you about your roofing needs – whether you need a new roof, a leak repair or patching or snow and ice removal, Horch Roofing has you covered! Contact us for a free estimate and site visit today.

Horch Roofing is Midcoast Maine’s largest and most experienced roofing contractors. We provide metal roofing, asphalt shingle roofing, EPDM rubber roofing, and seamless gutters for both residential and commercial roofing projects. We also offer free roof estimates or job estimates. Horch Roofing has been roofing homes on the coast of Maine, from Brunswick to Belfast, since 2003.  We serve the communities of Midcoast Maine from our office in Warren. You can call us at (207) 273-1111, visit us at 2414 Camden Road, or contact us online.