How Much Snow Can Your Roof Safely Hold?
The majority of residential roofs in good shape may support 20 lbs./ sq. ft. of snow, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. In order to assist you in determining when the snow on the roof might be approaching this limit, use the following guidelines:
- Freshly Fallen Snow: About4’ of fresh snow equals 20 lbs./ sq. ft.
- Packed, Old Snow: About 2’ of packed down, old snow equals 20 lbs./ sq. ft.
- Mixed Old and New Snow: About2’ – 3’ of both old and new currently equals 20 lbs./ sq. ft.
As you analyze your roof, remember that flat roofing is more prone to a collapsed roof from the overall combined weight of the snow. It’s because melt water has a greater opportunity of refreezing on flat roofing before it has an opportunity to run off, like it might on sloped roofing. If your house has flat roofing, take the snow off more often in order to prevent severe structural damage from happening.
How to Safely Remove Snow Off Roofing
As the snow on the roof accumulates quicker than it may melt away, it must be removed by hand. If you have a desire to clear the snow on your own, use these safety precautions in order to protect yourself and the roof:
- Never take snow off alone.
- If you can, take the snow off with a telescopic roof rake as you stand on the ground, so you can prevent injury to your body.
- First, remove icicles and snow from the corner of your roof. Occasionally, it’s all it will take for the remainder of the accumulated snowfall to come off.
- If you must use a ladder, be certain that it’s free of ice and in good condition. Firmly plant it into a snow pile before you climb up.
- When on your roof, always utilize a safety harness. Make sure that your harness is attached to a solid anchor point so you can be protected from severe falls.
- When you clean snow off the roof, use a plastic shovel, since metal tools might damage the roof material and produce structural problems.