Winter Weather

Ice and snow are more likely to accumulate on low-slope and flat roofs, and melting snow tends to quickly run off of steep-sloped roofs. But any home with heavy snow on top could cause the roof to collapse. 

To determine if your roof is at risk of collapsing, it’s important to understand how much snow your roof can support.

So how do you determine how much the snow on your roof weighs? The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) offers helpful guidelines: 

  • Ten to 12 inches of new snow is equal to one inch of water, or about five pounds per square foot of roof space.
  • Up to four feet on your roof is OK. 
  • Three to five inches of old snow is equal to one inch of water, or about five pounds per square foot of roof space.
  • Up to two feet on your roof is OK. 
  • One inch of ice equals one foot of fresh snow.
  • Up to four inches on your roof is OK. 

If the snow and ice on your roof looks to be more than 20 to 25 pounds, you’re in the “danger zone” and should consider removing it. Snow removal can be dangerous, so it’s a good idea to hire a snow-removal contractor. 

If the snow and ice on your roof looks to be more than 20 to 25 pounds, you’re in the “danger zone” and should consider removing it. Snow removal can be dangerous, so it’s a good idea to hire a snow-removal contractor.