February 6, 2014By: Douglas Trattner
Wet snow is much heavier than dry, fluffy snow. Six inches of dry snow weighs about as much as 38 inches of wet snow. Image: Zvozdochka/iStockphoto
If you’ve had a big snowfall in your area and you’re wondering if your roof can stand the extra weight, don’t reach for a ladder and a shovel — reach for the telephone. Calling in a professional to remove ice and snow from your roof is the smartest — and safest — option.
When (If Ever) is it Necessary?
The critical factor in determining excessive snow loads on your roof isn’t the depth of the snow, it’s the weight, says home improvement expert Jon Eakes.
That’s because wet snow is considerably heavier than dry, fluffy snow. In fact, 6 inches of wet snow is equal to the weight of about 38 inches of dry snow.
The good news is that residential roofs are required by building codes to withstand the heaviest snows for that particular part of the country.
“Theoretically, if your roof is built to code, it’s built to support more than the normal load of snow and ice,” says Eakes.
You can determine the type of snow you’re getting simply by hefting a few shovelfuls — you should be able to quickly tell if the current snowfall is wet or dry. Local winter storm weather forecasts should alert you to the possibility that [more...]