Rooftop Snow: How Much is Too Much?

During times of heavy winter precipitation, it is not unusual to see excessive snow buildup on all rooftops. However, depending on the slope, grade, and type of roof, certain amounts of snow buildup could be extremely dangerous for the structural integrity of your home. Apex has a few guidelines that we think you should be keeping in mind this winter. To learn more about the products and services that we offer, visit Apex Exteriors at or call 847.961.4601.

  • Snow Type

Considering the snow type, even more than the buildup depth, is critical when assessing the state of the snow on your roof. Six inches of wet snow is the same weight as 38 inches of dry snow. Building codes in your area require that roofs be built to withstand reasonable natural elements in your area, so as long as your roof was built to code, don’t panic.

  • Ways to Test

One of the best ways to determine whether the snow on your roof is too much for your home’s structure to support is to examine interior doorframes. Interior doors will begin to stick if the snow on your roof is too heavy, since the weight will begin subtly pushing down on this framework. You should also inspect around the doorframes to find any cracks or rippling in the drywall.

  • Cause of Potential Structural Issues

Many people ask why these structural issues would result from a snow load. Typically one of two things have been done incorrectly in this situation. You may have a roof that was not built to code, so it’s not capable of maintaining its structure under the weight of a reasonable snow load. The other is that a load-bearing wall may have been removed and not supported to code during a remodel.

There is also the possibility that your area has just been hit with higher than normal wet snow volumes, despite your best efforts to keep your home up to local codes.

  • What to Do

DIY in these situations is not recommended. Call a snow removal professional to clean off your roof for every six inches of snow build-up to insure the structural integrity of your home and safety of your family. Having a home inspector confirm that your roof and load-bearing walls are all up to code is also advised to prevent future issues.

Apex Exteriors Inc. is a top contracting company in the Chicagoland area, with exterior residential and commercial contractors who you can trust. Visit Apex Exteriors online at or call 847.961.4601.

Last Updated on April 15, 2017 by


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