South River Restoration Blog

How Much Snow Can Your Roof Support?

Winter brings snow, sleet, and ice to many parts of the country, and different kinds of winter weather can have different effects on home roofs. A recent article on the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s (IIBHS) website highlighted the risks roofs face from snow. According to the institute, most home roofs can support 20 pounds per square foot of snow before they start to suffer from ill effects.

However, the IIBHS also notes that different forms of winter weather can have different impacts on roofs:

  • Each foot of fresh snow is equivalent to about 5 pounds per square foot.
  • If the snow’s more densely packed, each foot of snow might be equivalent to 10 pounds per square foot. In other words, a roof can support less volume of densely packed snow than fresh snow.
  • Ice poses more risk, as an inch of ice is equivalent to about 5 pounds per square foot of snow.

To mitigate the risk of snow and other winter precipitation, the IIBHS suggests using a snow rake to remove snow from the roof. Another option? Hiring a contractor to remove the snow.

Click here to read more about how much snow a roof can handle on the Insurance Institute for Business Safety website.

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