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Your Roof Is in Danger of Collapse – How You Can Prevent a Disaster

16 Jan 2017, 4:13 pm

Many across the U.S. have been inundated with snow/ice due to recent storms.  Roofs usually take the brunt of these storms in weight.  According to experts, a roof should be able to support 20 lb. per square foot of snow before becoming stressed.

There are factors that come into play for weight capacity such as the slope, location and direction of the roof.  Flatter roofs over outdoor areas like porches that are facing away from the sun are going to see more snow/ice accumulation.  Whereas steeper roofs sitting over indoor areas that are facing the sun are not going to see as much accumulation and will experience much more melting.

It is very important to keep an eye on your roof during snow/ice buildup to prevent a roof collapse.  Always make sure to relieve the stress on the roof when necessary and be able to see the signs of stress.

Estimate How Much the Snow on Your Roof Weighs Using These Guidelines from Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

Fresh snow: 10–12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so you could have up to 4 feet of new snow before the roof will become stressed.

Packed snow: 3–5 inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about 5 lb per square foot of roof space, so anything more than 2 feet of old snow could be too much for your roof to handle.

Total accumulated weight: 2 feet of old snow and 2 feet of new snow could weigh as much as 60 lb per square foot of roof space, which is beyond the typical snow load capacity of most roofs.

Ice: 1 inch of ice equals 1 foot of of fresh snow.

There a few ways you can remove snow/ice from a roof.  You can use heat cables, a roof rake, an old fashioned shovel or you can call on professionals who specialize in this type of snow/ice removal.


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