With cold temperatures on the rise as we head into February, winter weather filled with snow and ice are likely to be headed our way soon. It is predicted that this Winter will be colder than other recent years, with above normal snowfall in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area. The snowiest periods are predicted to be mid to end of January and late February.
How prepared is your roof for the snow? Do you know how much snow your roof is capable of withstanding?
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are many factors that go into snow-induced structural failures, including a roof’s shape, slope, construction, maintenance, exposure to wind, and the type of snow that has accumulated. Did you know that fluffy, fresh snow can weigh as little as three pounds per square foot compared with 21 pounds for wet, heavy snow? And ice weighs more: 57 pounds a square foot! Considering the average-size roof in the United States is in the range of 2,000 square feet, the weight of snow and ice can add up to dangerous sums.
The older your roof, the less stable the structure is to withstand harsh climates. Before trying to remove snow off of your roof, there are some things to consider first.
How much snow can my roof hold?
The average roof can withhold 20 pounds of snow.
How much does the snow weigh?
Ten Inches of fresh snow is equal to about 5 pounds per square feet. This means that your roof can highly hold 4 feet of fresh snow. Packed snow, however, weighs more. Two feet or more of old snow mixed with fresh snow is enough to cause your roof to collapse. It does not take much snow to cause damage to your roof, and this is not counting ice, as an inch of ice is equal to the weight of a foot of fresh snow.
What are signs of a stressed roof?
Sagging ceiling tiles, popping or creaking noises, cracked walls or a leaking roof are all signs of an overstressed roof.
How do I remove the snow or ice?
Do not attempt to do this on your own! Call a roofing professional to come and assess the potential damage before you risk staying inside or cleaning it on your own.
We at Jireh General Contractors, LLC offer snow removal services, so give us a call today for a complimentary inspection prior to the snow!