Bracing for winter weather, can your roof hold up

After initial light snowfall in the northwest, residents are now bracing for a major storm to move through the region on Tuesday night that is expected to drop significant amounts of snow, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Most notably, Seattle, Washington could receive as much as 16 inches of snow by Wednesday, reports NWS. The Weather Channel notes that Seattle’s annual snowfall is just 5.9 inches.

Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon could see as much as 8 inches of snow, and Spokane, Washington is expected to receive nearly 10 inches of snow, according to NWS.

The above-average amount of snow for the region could lead to roof damage for properties not ready to hold large amounts of snow. Inspect your roof and prepare for large amounts of snow by using the following guidance offered by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

Preventing Roof Collapse

If your roof is damaged in any way it is critical to try to address the issue before significant snowfall occurs. If there is no damage, the typical roof should have the ability to support 20 lbs. per square foot of snow before the weight starts to become too much, according to IBHS.

Determine how much the snow on your roof weighs by following the guidelines below:

Fresh Snow: 10-12 inches of fresh snow = 1 inch of water = 5 lbs. per square foot

Packed Snow: 3-5 inches of packed snow = 1 inch of water = 5 lbs. per square foot

Ice: 1 inch of ice = 12 inches of fresh snow = 5 lbs. per square foot

If snow buildup begins on your roof, don’t waste time to remove it. Use a snow roof rake that is long enough to remove snow while still on the ground, or hire a professional contractor to safely remove the snow.

For additional snow removal guidance and other freezing weather resources, please visit IBHS’

This was a press release from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.


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