Snow in April.

As everyone knows, northern Vermont is scheduled to get a bunch of snow tonight and on into tomorrow, April 14 and 15.  Supposedly this is spring time; I’m sure everyone has seen at lease a couple Robins and a wide variety of other birds.  It is that time of year when we’ve all about had it with snow, sleet, freezing rain, we are ready for summer!

This past week we’ve been talking about how this is a great time to be planning for your new home.  Usually in spring and summer we neglect to consider the strength of our roof.  How many of you know the “Snow-Load” of your roof?

Take a look at today’s picture and you will see what looks like at least two feet of snow on that roof.  A common Rule-Of-Thumb is that one cubic foot of snow weighs upward of about twenty pounds.  Let’s calculate what might be up on the roof.

Size of your home (we are guessing):  28’ x 48’ or a flat square footage of 1,344.  But, that figure isn’t accurate.  Remember, your roof goes up at the peak which increases the dimensions of the roof.  But, for the purposes of this brief example let’s round off that square footage to 1,500.  That new number takes into account the over hangs on each end and the overhangs across the front and back.

Brief Math calculations:

  • House size, 28’ x 48’ + overhangs = 1,500 sf
  • Weight of 1 cubic foot of snow = upwards of 20 pounds, for this example we will assume only 10 pounds
  • Total weight of the snow on the roof is 15,000 pounds or 7½ tons.

As you wrap your mind around 7½ TONS of snow and remember that we cut the weight in half and probably are under estimating the square footage of the roof its self. 

Back to our original question – do you know the “Snow Load” for your roof?

Scary Part – The real threat to your roof is the shear weight of the snow.  But, late winter storms are the worst!  Late winter storms typically will snow through the night and then rain the next day.  The snow up on the roof acts as a sponge and absorbs a lot of the rain and obviously the snow now will weigh at least twice as much.

Back to our original question – do you know the “Snow Load” for your roof?

Snow-Loads are calculated very carefully and should never be done “by the seat of your pants” which is far too often the case when a stick-builder builds a home.  Every home from Vermont Modular has a roof that is carefully calculated to withstand the extreme weight of the snow.  For example, a home located in Colchester in The Champlain Valley will have a different snow load than in Coventry Vermont.  Whether you live in Colchester, Chittenden County or Coventry, Orleans County the two sets of calculations will be dramatically different.

We know your snow load!  And we will build your home correctly.  Do you know your snow load?

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