How Much Weight Can a Roof Hold and How to Strengthen It

You might be wondering how much weight can a roof hold, especially if you plan on going on top of your roof. You might be worried about whether the roof can withstand the weight of snow during winter.

How to Know How Much Weight Can a Roof Hold?

To know about the answer, you can try to find the building code requirements in your area. All houses should be built based on specific building codes, so your house should match the regulations when built correctly.

It will be more complicated if you want to know the exact capacity since many things will affect it. Furthermore, the capacity will be further categorized into dead and live load.

how much weight can a roof hold

To calculate the dead load, you must weigh all the materials, structures, and other fixtures attached to your roof, such as HVAC. Meanwhile, live load capacity determines how much temporary weight your roof can handle, such as snow and human weight, along with the equipment they bring.

If your roof is built according to the regulations, it can hold both weights simultaneously. For a residential house, it should be able to hold 20 pounds for every square foot. However, each roof material will have a different capacity. For example, a metal roof should hold 27 pounds for every square foot.

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Roof Weight Capacity Based On the Roof Types

  1. Concrete roof

As a strong material, concrete can have more capacity, but it still has limits. The limit is usually 1,200 pounds for commercial buildings for every square foot. However, residential buildings will vary based on the concrete thickness, condition, and roof age. Adding reinforcement may also increase its capacity.

  1. Gable roof

This roof has two sides sloping down the wall with a big slope. The slope can help to prevent snow build-up as they can easily slide off. The capacity for this type of roof will be calculated, assuming that the weight will be pushed downward.

  1. Flat roof

Another strong structure whose capacity will be determined by a roofing system, materials, and size. As always, all roofs must be able to hold a minimum of 20 pounds for every square foot. But usually, there is a concentrated capacity that it should have, which is different for every country.

Read also: What is Composite Roofing System?

However, the capacity can be easily exceeded with debris, rain, and snow that can easily accumulate on top. So, if you have this type of roof, you must frequently remove any build-up.

Things That You Can Do To Strengthen the Roof

  1. Adding trusses

This reinforcement can be used to add support to your roof. However, you can only add this to certain areas since not all areas give access to the interior structure. With this addition, you will be able to increase the capacity of your roof so it can hold more weight.

  1. Repair damage

If you see any chipped or curled shingles, you need to replace them immediately. Leaving them damaged will allow moisture to penetrate the roof and make it root. Over time, it will reduce the roof’s strength and may even damage it.

  1. Clean snow

Remember that your roof can only hold 20 pounds of snow for every square foot. So, if snow accumulates too high, you need to clean it immediately.

Conclusion Normally, the roof should be able to hold 20 pounds of live load for every square foot. This includes snow weight and person weight. If you want, you can strengthen them to increase their capacity.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair