How much snow can your roof carry?

As we all know yesterday and through the night we had a significant snow storm.  Here in Champlain Valley area we had the better part of 9” of new snow; that is in addition to what was already on the ground.

Take a look at today’s photograph.  You are looking at a substantial amount of snow on that roof so our friend in his red sweater is shoveling it off the roof.  Perhaps he is concerned with the formation of an Ice Dam that we have talked about recently.  Or perhaps he is worried about the sheer weight of the snow.  That brings up the question of how much does snow actually weigh.  According to basic estimates one cubic foot of snow will weigh about 20 pounds.  Yes, that weight can go up or down depending on a variety of factors.

Just for conversation’s sake let’s guess that in today’s photograph here is about two feet of snow.  So, each square foot of the roof is carrying two-cubic-feet of snow or about forty pounds per square foot. 

Remember, this discussion is not precise but rather trying to make a point.  Stay with us throughout the discussion!

Let’s pretend that we are talking about a ranch house that is 28’ by 46’ as our typical or average home.  That accounts for roughly 1,500 square feet of roof space with a possible forty pounds of snow on each square foot.

The total weight of the snow in today’s photograph is in the range of  (1,500 x 20 = 30,000)  that would be for each one foot of snow.  So, multiply that times 2 because there is two feet of snow.  That would be 60,000 pounds of snow on that roof.  By the way that is 30 tons.

Every home from Vermont Modular has a roof that is built with sufficient strength to support the weight of heavy snow for the specific location where the home is going to be located.  A home here in the Champlain Valley is significantly different than a home up in the mountains of Lamoille County.  We delivered a beautiful colonial home last summer and its snow load was slightly more than twice the capacity for most homes in Chittenden County.

Do you know the calculated snow load of your roof?  Was it thoroughly engineered to carry the enormous weight of snow?

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