Avoid Huge Insurance Claims & Costly Emergency Roof Service by Assessing for Potential Risks Before Winter Hits
Most homes in Southeast Wisconsin should be able to support about 20 lb. per square foot of snow before the roof becomes stressed.
If any part of your roof becomes stressed under the weight of snow, you may have a partial or complete roof collapse on your hands.
Top Risk Factors for a Roof Collapse
Below we’ve listed some of the top risks associated with a partial or complete roof collapse
- If your home was built in the 1980’s, it is likely able to support 40 lbs. per square foot. On the other hand, if your home was built in the 1920’s, the roof may be able to withstand considerably less.
- If you have a flat roof or a low slopping roof over a porch, 3-seasons room, or other parts of your home you may be at risk of a roof collapse because debris, snow, and rain tend to collect here, whereas they run off steep slopes much faster.
- If you have varying roof lines, wind may pose a threat for snow drifts to develop, which can put added stress on certain parts of your roof.
- If you have cracking, leaning or missing mortar it may be a sign of an unstable roof.
- If your roof line looks like its drooping, bending or curving you may be at risk of a roof collapse
- If you have whistling winds throughout your home, accompanied by door frames changing and doors opening on their own you might have an unstable roof.
- If you have dripping water, dark spots or sagging areas inside your home, your roof may be compromised.
- If your home will be left unattended for an extended amount of time (i.e. vacations, seasonal snowbirds, etc.) you may be at risk if roof snow accumulation is not being kept at bay. If you will be leaving your home unattended for an extended amount of time, consider hiring a professional snow removal company to rake your roof when heavy snowfalls occur.
Snow & Ice by Weight
For more information on how weight plays a factor between snow and ice, we’ve provided a breakdown according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS):
New Snow: 10-12 inches of freshly fallen snow equals about 5 lbs. per square foot.
Old Snow: 3-5 inches of old, packed snow equals about 5 lbs. per square foot
New & Old Snow: 2 feet of new snow + 2 feet of old snow could weigh as much as 60 lbs. per square foot, which is more than the typical home in Southeast Wisconsin can handle!
Ice: 1 inch of ice = 1 foot of snow