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How Much Snow Can a Roof Hold?


How Much Snow Can a Roof Hold?

Snowfall can be beautiful to witness throughout the winter months. It can also be tremendously heavy on your roof. In this post, we’ll be discussing how much snow your roof may be able to handle, and what you should do if there’s a large snowfall to help maintain the integrity of your roof and home.

So, How Much Snow Can a Roof Actually Hold?

This question is often asked of us here at American Remodeling, yet the answer is: it depends on many factors. While yes, there are general principles when it comes to how much weight a standard roof can hold when it comes to snowfall amounts; the actual answer varies in large part due to the unpredictable nature of weather patterns during the winter months. Let’s explore the different types of snowfall a roof may experience and how much estimated snowfall it may be able to handle.

Types of Snowfall

Below are the different types of snowfall we experience here in Pennsylvania. Most residential roofs can handle about 20 pounds of snow per square foot. Also keep in mind flat roofs are much more susceptible to vulnerability with snowfall, as they’re not able to distribute the weight of said snowfall as effectively as a standard arched roof.

Fresh Snow

Fresh snow is typically much lighter and not as dense as packed snow from repeated days of snowfall on your roof. Your roof is therefore able to handle fresh snowfall in larger amounts. The typical amounts of fresh snowfall a standard roof may be able to handle is around 3 to 4 feet of snow.

Older, Packed Snow

Older, packed snow is obviously heavier than fresh snow, as anyone who’s built a snowman can tell you so, yet when ti;s on your roof, it exudes so much more downward force on your rooftop. This extra force can cause a great deal of problems to arise. It’s estimated a standard roof can withstand about 1-2 feet of packed snow. Beyond that, you’re running the risk of structural issues developing if the snow is not promptly removed.

Mixed Snow (Old & New)

Mixed snow, meaning fresh snowfall on top of older, packed snow is an interesting combination of snow in which your roof may be able to handle around 2-3 feet of mixed snow in total.

Having a Professional Remove Your Snow

It’s often recommended to have a specialized snow removal company visit your home to remove excess snow before it turns into a problem. Doing it yourself may pose a risk to your safety. If you do decide to do it yourself, you should always have assistance in the form of a few other people to monitor the situation and you should always utilize a safety harness to prevent falls from your rooftop.

Utilizing the Right Team for Your Roof Installation from the Start

Our team here at American Remodeling has helped many homeowners just like you have a safe, secure, and sound rooftop to enjoy for many decades to come. We hope this post has helped educate you on the various types of snowfall and how much snow is typically tolerated on a standard residential rooftop. Feel free to contact us should you need any roofing estimates or inspections and we’ll be sure to respond to your message as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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At American Remodeling, we take pride in providing beautiful products that are made to last. Although we are confident that your remodel will provide long-term performance and value, we want you to have that same peace of mind. That’s why we offer the best lifetime manufacturer and service warranty options. Offers vary depending on the products and services you choose, so contact us to learn about the specific coverage we can provide for your remodeling project.