If you’re thinking about using your roof for more than just a roof over your head, you may have to consider how much weight your roof can actually absorb? Depending on whether your concern is with seasonal occurrences like snow buildup on your roof or if you’re contemplating adding a deck or garden to your rooftop, understanding the effect any amount of weight can have on your roof is important.
Any changes you make to a roof will affect its weight and what the roof can or cannot handle. There are figures for weight distribution and some of the different structural changes that will affect how much weight a roof can absorb.
Seasonal Snow Buildup
As a safety issue, understanding the amount of weight of snow your roof can absorb during the winter months is one thing that needs attention. When you don’t keep a check on the accumulation of snow, you won’t know the best time to either remove it yourself or have a contractor do it for you. Maybe your roof pitch is steep and you won’t have to worry about it, but if it isn’t, you’ll need to remove the snow to stop the eventual collapse of your roof.
Whether it’s fresh or packed snow on your roof or deck, there are ways to determine how much snow either can handle and how much weight is too much weight for the roof. You can figure out if a roof is taking on too much weight with snow.
Weight Of Snow
Snow’s weight fluctuates and snow that is fresh weighs less than snow that is packed down. Approximately 12 inches of fresh snow that has fallen on a roof or deck weighs 5 pounds (per square foot). With snow that is packed, 5 inches of that amount on your roof weighs the same. You need to know the capacity of your roof for snowfall to know when to clear it.
Snow Level Maximums
To check what your roof can support, consider using a snow load calculator. You can input your home’s measurements to see what weight your roof will cautiously support. Regional building codes come into play as well. A state has its own codes and building experts determine guidelines for how much snow a roof can hold.
With a residential roof, the weight of snow should not go beyond 30 pounds per square foot. To calculate the amount of snow that your roof can handle, multiply the snow’s depth (in feet) by how much a cubic foot of snow weighs.
You don’t want to clear off all the snow on your roof as it can cause damage to your shingles. Leave about 2 inches of snow on your roof to avoid any problems. You want to think about using a roof rake as it’s a safer option than climbing onto the roof of your house, which puts you at risk of falling.
Maybe you’re thinking about adding a deck to your rooftop. It’s a construction project that a roofing professional like RGB Construction should administer and accommodate. If your roof can carry the added weight of a deck, it can be a great addition to a living area.
Most roofs are not technically ready to include an added deck. The main purpose of a roof is to safeguard a home from exterior elements. Remodeling your home to make room for a deck is an investment, but it’s also added weight on your roof that requires an assessment of what a roof can absorb.
If you’re thinking about adding a “green” garden to your roof, you’ll need to take into consideration the number of layers and the weight a garden brings. You’ll be dealing with layers for plants and grass that include soil, filtering fleece, a drainage layer and vegetation. These different layers are almost five inches in thickness and around 100 kg/m2 dry (approximately 220 pounds) and 150 kg/m2 (approximately 330 pounds) completely wet. The key factors that affect the weight are the density of the layers and the heaviness of the layers that absorb moisture from rain.
The weight of a green roof can go from hundreds of tons for a huge green roof that covers a park or garden to just a few hundred kilos for a smaller green roof system. If you carefully choose more adaptable green materials, the weight and will be considerably less.
Sitting On Your Roof
Maybe you like the idea of sitting on your roof, especially for looking at the night sky or just enjoying the coolness of the evening air on a summer’s night. Do you really know where the weak spots are on your roof, where you might plant yourself for a nice evening? It’s worth it to find out just how much weight in the wrong spots can affect your roof.
How much can a roof hold when you sit on it? Many roofs can hold a nominal amount of 20 pounds per square foot and other roofs withstand the increased weight. For example, a roof with a rooftop deck can support 55 pounds of weight per square foot. Maybe these numbers make you believe that your roof won’t break if you sit on it. Most humans weigh less than these minimums, but again, the problem goes back to the distribution of the weight.
With a deck on a rooftop or a severe snowstorm, the weight is more dispersed across the surface. With the disbursement of weight, from either a deck or snow that spans several square feet, there won’t be a substantial impact on any area of a roof. If a human or humans sit on a roof, their weight directly affects one area. This can bring serious damage to a roof or injury to the persons.
If you’re wondering how much weight your roof can absorb, either through snow buildup or constructing a deck or garden or just sitting on your roof, you’ll need the advice of experts to help you determine what your roof can withstand. The experts at RGB Construction will be happy to help you determine what your roof can and cannot endure. Call them at 856-264-9093. They’ll be happy to help you with any roofing project.