Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty: How much snow can your home handle?

Is your home ready for the onslaught of snow and ice?

We have just experienced our first significant snow of the season! While we are usually focused on preparing for road conditions, school closings and family safety, it is also important to consider if your home is ready for the onslaught of snow and ice!

Here in the heart of the Midwest, we are no stranger to inclement weather, and neither are the roofs of our homes! Did you know most roofs can hold about 20 pounds per square foot of snow? During or after a blizzard, it’s important to gauge just how much weight your roof is absorbing. To calculate these metrics, you must consider the type of precipitation you are dealing with – this includes, fresh snow, old snow and ice.

  • Roughly one foot of fresh snow weighs about five pounds per square foot on the surface of your roof. More than likely, your roof can handle around four feet of fresh snow.
  • When dealing with old snow on your roof, it is often packed and heavier than fresh snow. About three to five inches of packed snow is the equivalent of one foot of fresh snow. Based on these calculations, your roof can handle two feet of old snow.
  • It only takes 1 inch of ice to equal one foot of snow. This means that your roof is likely compromised if 4 inches of ice has accumulated. (Source)

A word on ice dams

Ice dams can cause considerable damage to the shingles on your roof.

In a blizzard, it’s not just snow we have to worry about, especially in our neck of the woods. Ice dams can form around the edge of your roof when accumulated snow melts and then refreezes. This can cause considerable damage to the shingles on your roof. In addition to shingle damage, ice dams add weight which as I mentioned above, can put your roof at risk for collapse.

If you hear creaking or cracking coming from your roof, these could be an indicator that your roof is under enormous strain. It is also important to check your ceilings for water damage after a blizzard – which can also point towards a problem. A word of caution, if you are concerned your roof may be in peril, please call a licensed professional to assess the situation. It is never safe to try and tackle the issue on your own. Stay safe this winter!

Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty is an innovative full-service residential real estate brokerage that leverages the latest technology to serve clients in emerging, established, and luxury neighborhoods across the Kansas City area. Follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here.