Winter is probably one of the hardest times of the year. The falling snow can make life as we know it difficult. But the winter weather may also pose certain risks to the quality and safety of our homes. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to engage in extensive repairs after a long winter and one of the areas often affected is the roof. 

After all, the roof is the most important protective layer of the house and as such, it is more likely to bear the brunt of tough weather compared to any other part of the house. But, how much snow can the roof actually hold before it starts leaking? 

Well, we will be exploring these questions below! 

Determining Factors 


Roofs are not the same and come in different designs, different materials, and different constructions. In that case, how they hold off the snow will vary a lot from one roof to the other. 

Despite this, there are three crucial factors that will determine how much snow a single roof can hold. 

Here they are:

  • Type of Snow: The type of snow falling is a huge determining factor for one simple reason. It is estimated that wet snow is, in fact, three times heavier compared to dry or fluffy snow. Think of it this way. A dry sponge is light, right? But if the same sponge is dipped into water, it becomes heavier than normal. It’s the same thing with the snow. Wet snow, which has absorbed moisture, will be denser and heavier. It will, therefore, put a strain on the roof compared to dry snow.

  • Roof’s Structural Design: The structural design of the roof determines how it sheds the snow. For example, steep and smooth roofs will easily shed the snow, reducing the strain in the process. Flat roofs, on the other hand, are not nearly as effective. It takes longer for them to shed the snow and the more it stays there the more problematic it will be.

  • Roof Material: The material on the roof will also determine how strong it will stand under the weight of the snow. Durable roofing materials designed for this kind of weather tend to do very well. It may also be a good idea to add a durable set of shingles such as slate and asphalt for an extra bit of support to the entire roof.

However, there’s a limit as to how much snow the roof can hold. It doesn’t matter the type of roof you have or its structural integrity. If the snow accumulates for too long without any action, even the strongest of roofs will crumble under the weight. 

How to Detect Possible Leaks 


The roof will do the best it can to hold off the snow for as long as possible. But we all know that the tough weather can take its toll on anything. In most cases, the roof isn’t spared. So, how do you know your roof is starting to crumble under the weight of the snow? 

Well, here are a few things you can do.

  1. Start by heading to the attic and do a close examination on the rafters. If there are bends and cracks there, then it means the roof may be in trouble. Nonetheless, don’t end the inspection there. While damaged rafters may be a sign of a damaged roof, they may also be caused by many other factors including termite infestations. The damage may also be a result of the previous winter. In that case, keep your eyes open for other signs before panicking. 

  2. Another easy way to tell if the roof is crumbling is through cracks in the drywall or plaster, especially along interior frames. Pay attention to the doors as well. If they are sticking all over sudden, something might be wrong. In this case, you will have to call in a professional roof inspector for redress. 

Contact a roofing pro today to request a free inspection quote to prevent leaks and roof damage!