Let’s face it; we get A LOT of snow. Although the beautiful snow fall can turn homes into charming and peaceful winter wonderlands, it can also cause a lot of damage to your home.
Have you ever considered how much snow is TOO much for your roof to handle?
A significant amount of accumulated snow is extremely heavy and can lead to a number of issues to your home such as roof leaks, interior water damage, ice dams and, in worst cases, roof collapse.
Listed below are helpful tips suggested by ServiceMaster Restore to show how much snow your roof can handle before the worst happens, plus additional information on how to clear snow off your roof safely and efficiently throughout this winter.
Most residential roofs in good condition can support up to 20 pounds per square foot of snow. These guidelines will help determine when the snow on your roof may be approaching this weight limit:
- Freshly Fallen Snow: Around four feet of fresh snow equals 20 pounds per square foot.
- Old, Packed Snow: Around two feet of old, packed down snow equals 20 pounds per square foot.
- Mixed New and Old Snow: Around two to three feet of both new and old now equals 20 pounds per square foot.
If your house has a flat roof, try to remove the snow more often to prevent serious structural damage from occurring. Flat roofs are more susceptible to collapsing from the total combined snow weight because meltwater has a higher change of refreezing on a flat roof before it has a chance to run off as it would on sloped roofs.
The snow on your roof needs to be cleared off by hand when it accumulates faster than it can melt. To do this yourself, use these following safety precautions to protect yourself and your roof:
- Never remove snow alone.
- If possible, remove the snow using a telescopic roof rake while standing on the ground to prevent bodily injury.
- Remove snow and icicles from the edges of the roof first. Sometimes, this is all it takes for the rest of the accumulated snow to fall off.
- If you need to use a ladder, make sure that it is in good condition and free of ice. Plant it firmly into a pile of snow before climbing up.
- Always use a safety harness when on your roof. Ensure that the harness is attached to a sturdy anchor point to protect you from serious falls.
- Use plastic shovels when clearing snow off your roof, since metal tools can damage your roofing material and cause structural issues.
Unfortunately our winter snowstorms have a mind of their own often dumping a lot of snow at once on your roof than you can handle. There are a number of companies who can do this for you. Don’t put yourself and your home at risk if you don’t have the equipment or help.