How Heavy is Snow on a Roof? (A Quick Guide!)

On a list of things to pay any mind to, the amount of snow falling on your roof is probably somewhere around the bottom.

This is because snow falling on a roof is pretty unavoidable and usually doesn’t elicit concern.

Take note, I stated usually, meaning there are some instances where snow falling on your roof should be of major concern to you.

As you may know, when snow accumulates on a roof, it puts some weight on the structure, which can become unbearable and cause a lot of damage.

It’s crucial that you know exactly how much snow your roof can handle and what to do when it’s too much.

So, here’s everything you need to know!

Here’s How Heavy is Snow on a Roof

Snow can be weighed according to the amount of space it takes up. Trying to figure out how heavy a heap of snow is by mere observation is nearly impossible. On average, snow weighs 20 pounds per cubic foot, the moisture content of the element plays a major role in its weightiness.

How Heavy is Snow?

As you may know, snow falls as a result of a natural process. It is a form of precipitation that builds up in stages depending on how much moisture is in the atmosphere.

Snow bank’s can weigh about 1.25 pounds per inch or 20 lbs per cubic square on average. The weight of a heap of snow is brought on by its moisture content. Hence the weight of snow can range from 1 to 20 lbs per cubic meter.

It’s kind of unfathomable that a single drop of snow that weighs a feather could accumulate into an incredibly heavy mass of ice that is by no means easy to clear.

How Many Feet of Snow Can a Roof Handle?

Snow accumulating on your roof is almost impossible to avoid. A roof is most likely the first component of a home that snowdrops come in contact with.

The early stages of the build-up of snow on a roof are usually no cause for concern as the snow won’t weigh so much to put any strain on your roofing structure.

Your concern about snow accumulating on your roof should rise when the mass or build-up is quite significant.

The maximum number of feet of snow that most roofs can handle is between 3.33 to 3.75 feet. Your roof’s load-bearing capacity depends on the strength of your roofing materials and the design of your roof.

The weight of snow also varies by how dry or how wet it is. Damp snow weighs at least three times more than dry or fluffy snow. The more wet the snow is, the more weight it exerts on your home’s roof.

How Much Does a Foot of Snow on a Roof Weigh?

Knowing the weight of a foot of snow on a roof is one of the essential pieces of information you need to know to calculate the weight of snow on your roof.

A cubic foot of snow on a roof weighs about 20 pounds for wet snow. The weight of dry snow can be between 7 pounds to 10 pounds. The moisture content of the snow determines to a large extent, the weight of the snow. Damp snow weighs more than dry snow.

Can Heavy Snow Collapse a Roof?

A roof collapse happens when a roof can no longer hold the weight on it or due to a massive storm.

Now that we’ve given a general explanation on what causes a roof to collapse let’s take a look at if heavy snow can cause a roof to collapse.

When snow builds up to an unbearable point on a roof it can cause a roof to cave in under pressure and collapse, which can lead to the occupants of a home sustaining injuries or dying, or damages to other structures within a home.

Other problems due to heavy snow include a leaky roof, damage to the internal water system, and roof sagging.

How to Calculate the Snow on Your Roof?

To determine the amount of snow on your roof, you need to know the number of inches of snow heaped on your rooftop because you’re going to be calculating in squares per foot.

You must measure the point with the most significant thickness of snow to get accurate figures.

You can do the calculation of the snow on your roof with this simple calculation:

(X)1.25. X represents the number of inches of snow on your top.

The product of X with 1.25 gives you a rough estimate of the weight of snow on your roof (the unit is in pounds per square foot).

Kindly note that 1 foot of wet snow will weigh more than the same amount of dry snow. So, you must consider the moisture content of the snow on your roof at that point in time.

The formula is a general one. It might not apply to the specifics of your city. So, if you think your estimate is far from correct, get someone more knowledgeable about this to help you out.

Should You Shovel the Snow Off Your Roof?

You should shovel snow off your roof at some point. Leaving snow to melt on your roof isn’t a good idea.

However, shoveling snow is a strenuous job that you must do very carefully. Ensure that you only attempt to clear the snow when it isn’t really snowing and it is safe to be outside.

You will see specific indications that should prompt you to clear snow off your roof.

One indicator is hearing certain sounds like cracks coming from your walls or ceiling.

What this means is that your roof has had enough snow and is ready to give way. Get to action at this point and clear the accumulated mass of your roof.

There also convenient snow removal tools on the market that have made the task of clearing snow off a roof quite easy.


Snow has considerable weight and can sometimes be intense. When the weight of the snow is more than what your roof can handle, it can cause the roof to collapse or sustain significant damage.

Measuring the weight of snow on your roof can be quickly done when you know the inches of snow that have been deposited on your rooftop.

Shoveling snow off your roof should be done at any point in time when it is not snowing or when the build-up is quite much.