Clearing the snow off your roof from the gutters or eaves upwards of three to four feet after each winter storm can help prevent ice dams from forming. Remember to avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. If you cannot safely reach the roof, contact a professional to remove the snow and ice for you.
For our region, the roof design snow loads can range from 50 pounds per square foot for a residential building to 90 pounds per square foot for a commercial building. The weight of accumulated snow/ice, not the depth, is critical in assessing a roof’s vulnerability. The water content of snow may range from 3% for very dry snow to 33% for a wet, heavy snow, to nearly 100% for ice. An inch of water depth weighs 5.2 lbs. per square foot. Thus, a roof designed to carry a snow load of 20 lbs. per horizontal square.