Everyone knows that on Christmas Eve night, Santa flies around the world with his eight flying reindeer (nine if you count Rudolph) and delivers gifts for children everywhere. It’s also well known that Santa, his sleigh, and all his reindeer land on your roof to gain access to your home. While it’d be a lot easier to just enter through your front door, this has worked for Santa for hundreds of years.
OK, so Santa and his sleigh might not really be on your roof this year, but this poses an interesting question: can your roof hold the weight of an actual reindeer?
The weight of an adult reindeer varies widely. Females are smaller and come in around 180-260 pounds. On the other hand, males are typically larger and can weigh anywhere from 200-460 pounds.
If you go by the low end of the spectrum, Santa’s reindeer would add a whopping 1,800 pounds on your roof—and that doesn’t even include his sleigh. Yikes!
However, let’s think about this question in more realistic terms.
The weight of snow depends on several factors, and it can vary greatly depending on the texture of the snow. It’s typically weighed in terms of one cubic foot, which translates to roughly 7.5 gallons or 63 pounds.
Light and fluffy snow weighs in around 7 pounds per cubic foot. Average snowfall weighs about 15 pounds per cubic foot, and heavy and compacted snow can weigh 20 pounds for cubic foot or more.
On the other hand, ice weighs in at roughly 57 pounds per cubic foot.
Now the question brings us to the weight load of your roof. Local building codes determine how much weight your roof is required to hold for it be structurally sound and avoid collapse. Most residential roofs are designed to hold at least 30 pounds per square foot. This generally translates to 4 feet of fluffy snow or 2 feet of dense snow.
If the weight of snow goes beyond these limits, your roof becomes stressed and may be at risk for collapsing if it’s old and outdated.
There are several signs that point to potential roof collapse, including:
As you can see, it’s vitally important to make sure that you have a sound roofing system this winter. Roofing from Universal Windows Direct is some of the best in Cleveland, and it’s designed to withstand our frequent lake effect snowfalls. Contact us today for an estimate on your new roof.