Snow is a common occurrence in the Mid-Hudson region. When there’s too much snow on your flat roof, it can lead to many issues and wreak havoc. Ice dams, leaks, or even a possible collapse could happen if the snow isn’t cleared away. A lot of snow is also a safety hazard to anyone on the ground.

Snow Load Explained

The weight of snow is called snow load. It refers to when ice and snow accumulate and create a downward force on your roof. When the snow amasses, it’s extremely heavy. It can lead to major issues such as interior water damage, ice dams, water leaks, and even roof collapse.  For ice-prone areas such as the Mid-Hudson region, it’s possible for well-designed buildings to give in if the snow exceeds the weight the roof was designed to handle.

Know The Snow Load of Your Flat Roof

Knowing how to calculate the snow load on your flat roof helps you prevent snow-induced structural damages. Understanding your building’s limits also helps you eliminate expensive damage repair costs and possible injuries to people around and in the building. With the knowledge, you can ensure the snow doesn’t go beyond the acceptable weight limits. 

Most roofs are made to withstand 20 pounds of snow per square feet. To calculate the snow load, multiply the snow depth per feet by the weight of one cubic foot of snow. The weight of snow can vary depending on if it’s wet, fluffy, or packed down.

Factors Influencing Snow Load

When calculating the snow load, you must take the various factors which affect the weight of snow into consideration. These include:

Snow Distribution

The shape and the slope of your roof can lead to uneven distribution of snow. This unbalanced snow load can cause sliding and threatens the structural system of your roof. 


The density of the snow depends on whether it’s wet and heavy or drier and lighter. The same amount of snow can fall in two different places but have varying weights. For various types of snow accumulation, use the following density estimations:

  • Ice: around 57 pounds per square feet
  • Packed snow: 20+ pounds per square feet
  • Light snow: 3-7 pounds per square feet
  • Wet snow: 6-15 pounds per square feet
  • Packed snow with ice: 40-57 pounds per square feet

Snow Accumulation

How quickly snow accumulates will afflict your roof with an ever-changing snow load. And if it melts and re-freezes, you will have to account for the ice adding additional weight.

Drifting Snow

Uneven snow accumulation will cause some areas of your roof to experience higher snow load pressure. 

Have Snow Removed Earlier than Later

You can tell that the snow load on your roof is an impending disaster by observing any of the following signs.

  • Cracks on the walls
  • Water leaks
  • Sagging ceiling
  • Loud cracking noises

These signs indicate your roof is straining until the weight of snow and it needs immediate attention. Call a snow removal company before the inevitable happens.

Roof snow removal helps eliminate the dangers mentioned above. You need a professional snow removal service in the Tri-State area to help keep your commercial property safe. Don’t be tempted to clear the roof yourself as snow removal is a dangerous task. Besides, professional snow removal services will help:

  • Minimize your liabilities: Snow and ice can pose injury and accident risks to property occupants and visitors. Hiring a professional snow removal company can help you reduce these liabilities.  
  • Protect your building, roof, and you: Snow removal is risky. Trying to do it yourself could lead to roof damages or self-imposed injuries. A snow removal company has a properly trained team and the right equipment to do the job safely and efficiently. 
  • Maintain the lifespan of your roof: Snow and ice are notorious for damaging flat roofing, gutters, and the building structure. Sometimes it blocks the attic ventilation, resulting in high utility bills. Water damage will be minimized by removing snow to help you prolong its lifespan.  

Choose the Right Roof Snow Removal Company

Vanguard Roofing has 47 years providing safe roof snow and ice removal services across the Mid-Hudson region. We are made of a team of professional staff who ensure your roof is not damaged during the removal. Your complete satisfaction with our services is our top priority. If you wish to protect your flat roof and building from snow load damage, give us a call today.