How Much Snow Can a Roof Hold?

Snow on the roof in St. Cloud, Minnesota

Here in the beautiful Midwest, we’re used to our fair share of snowy seasons. But how do our roofs hold up under such conditions, and what should homeowners plan for? Making a plan today to deal with inevitable snow on the roof can save you time, trouble, and expenses in the future. 

How much snow can my roof hold? 

How much snow your roof can hold depends on a few variables: 

  • Architectural shape (i.e., flat vs. sloped) 
  • Materials
  • Age of your roof and your home 
  • Maintenance (or lack thereof)

Snow will naturally melt off a pitched roof as temperatures rise, while flat roofs typically require some help. Similarly, durable materials (e.g., asphalt shingles) are better suited to withstand the weight of snow. 

The type of snow can also make a big difference. As any native Minnesotan knows, wet snow can weigh three times more than the dry, fluffy stuff. After a big storm, step outside to see what you’re dealing with before deciding on a snow removal plan. 

Did you know: The average snowfall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, is 48 inches.

What is too much snow on a roof?

If more than a foot of wet snow is sitting on your roof, removing it might be a good idea.

Is it OK to leave snow on the roof?

Experts agree you don’t want to leave too much snow on the roof. The weight can damage your roof, leading to costly repairs,  inconveniences, and – in some cases – a complete collapse. However, before you run outside to shovel, you want to ensure you can do so without injuring yourself or damaging your roof. 

Should you shovel your roof with snow on it?

In most cases, it’s best to leave roof snow shoveling to the professionals who know how to do it without injuring themselves or damaging your roof. Shoveling can reduce the likelihood of ice dams, which can become a significant problem for Minnesota homeowners. But you don’t want to cause damage to yourself in the process.

You should only shovel your roof if you can do it safely. That means having the proper equipment, physical capabilities, and weather conditions. A roof rake with a long extension handle can be a good workaround if you’re not up for climbing a ladder.

If you’re going to shovel or rake snow on the roof, follow these two recommendations:

Make a plan for the snow: Watch where that snow will wind up as you shovel or rake your roof. You don’t want to become buried under it or pile it in a place that blocks you in or causes problems when it melts.

Leave some snow behind: Counterintuitive as it may seem, only remove some of the snow up there. Getting rid of all of it could damage your shingles, leaving your home vulnerable. 

Are gutters good for snow buildup?

Yes, gutters are good for snow buildup, provided they’re well-maintained and properly cleared from debris. The best gutters for snow and ice are aluminum or steel. These materials are durable enough to withstand heavier bouts of snow. Curious about how to take care of them in the winter? We wrote a blog all about it!

Does my roof need attention? 

There are a few tell-tale signs to watch for:

  • Sagging ceiling 
  • Water leaking into your home
  • Water spots on the ceiling 

If you’re concerned, keep an ear out for new sounds. If your house begins to make noises (e.g., cracks, pops, creaks) that it hasn’t made before, that could indicate something is wrong. 

But, the best way to determine your roof’s condition is to have it inspected by professional roofing experts.

Protect your St. Cloud home this winter

Keep up with routine inspections and repairs to ensure your roof withstands all the winter weather. We’re proud to be a trusted roofing company in St. Cloud and the surrounding areas. Whether you need a few repairs or a total replacement, trust CoMitted 365. 

With over 50 years of combined experience, our roofing services protect you and your home from the elements this winter and all year round. If we’ve just experienced a big storm, reach out for storm damage services to fix any issues and prepare for the next one! 

Schedule an appointment.

Key Takeaway: If you experience significant snow build-up on your roof, plan to remove it safely. 

Related Reading: 

Snow on the roof in St. Cloud, Minnesota

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