Beauty has a price

As everyone is aware this past weekend, we had our first Ice Storm of the winter.  For sure it looks beautiful when it is harmlessly perched on the branches of trees and shrubbery.  And then when the sun makes it sparkle it is even more exciting.

When you go home this afternoon, or if you are already home, take a minute and look up at the roof on your home.  Do you know what its calculated snow load is? 

The Snow Load is a number, the number of pounds per square foot that the roof is built strong enough to carry the weight of snow.  Read carefully as we walk through Snow Loads:

  1. A small ranch house of about 1,200 square feet of living space is apt to have a roof with about 1,350 SF of roof
  2. The weight of one square foot of snow that is about 7½ pounds if there were 6” of snow up there
  3. So, 7.5 x 1,350 = 10,125 or slightly more than FIVE TONS of snow.

And, don’t forget that is only 6” of snow.  If there were one foot of snow it would weigh about TEN TONS.

Do you see why it is so important to have a thoroughly engineered roof that is built to carry the snow for your location!  Here in the Champlain Valley of Vermont most roof systems are built as a “Forty Pound Roof.”  That means it is strong enough to carry forty pounds of snow for each square foot of roof.  Or in our theoretical ranch house that has 1,350 SF of roof it can carry about 54,000 pounds of snow or about 22 TONS. 

If you live up in the mountains, say near Stowe or Killington or Stratton your roof will be considerably stronger.  A typical roof for a home up in the mountains is an 85 pound roof or enough to carry 114,750 pounds of snow on the roof, that is 57¼ TONS of snow.

Ice storms that follow snow storms add a lot more weight.

How strong is your roof?

Call us to discuss your new home.  (802) 985-5855

Share this post