Silver Spring Roofing: Article About Understanding Roof Load Limits
Most homeowners don't take a roof's load limit into consideration until unusual circumstances arise. From a strong snowstorm to potential solar panel installation, the roof has a specific limit to the items it can hold. Roofs must support all the basic materials including underlayment, decking and shingles, but they can also hold much more weight above those specifications. Working with a Silver Spring roofing professional about weight limits is an intelligent way to keep the home safe from instability.
Solar panels look extremely heavy, but they don't add as much weight as homeowners may believe. With a typical solar array, the added weight is only about 3 to 4 pounds for every square foot. Traditional roof systems can support up to 20 pounds of weight for each square foot. With this number in mind, solar panel installations do no harm to well-maintained roofs.
When a home resides in a snow-prone area, the original builders had to take this weather phenomenon into account. A roof would have to accumulate more than 4 feet of fresh snow before weight becomes an issue. With severe storms passing through, the opportunity for packed snow creates a bigger problem.
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This snow is denser, making only 2 feet of it dangerous to have on a roof for an extended period. Professionals need to use a roof rake to pull the snow off the home when it doesn't fall to the ground naturally.
A strong roof can quickly be destabilized if skylights are haphazardly installed. Professional roofers are expertly trained to incorporate skylights where they don't harm the overall roof support configuration. These glass panes cannot be installed where supportive joists and trusses are permanently installed, for instance. Roofers find spaces between the wood frames for the best installation locations.
A roof's pitch influences its strength capability. Steeper slopes cannot hold heavier materials because it could be detrimental to the structure. Steep slope roofs virtually have no weight issues because snow and rain slide right off. Flat or low-slope roofs require more debris removal to maintain a uniform weight distribution.
Aside from working with a professional during unusual weather or installation events, maintain a consistent service call schedule to check the roof throughout the year. Any weak points can be found before they degenerate too much, reducing repair costs considerably. The roof can be ready for the next storm with all its features, such as skylights and solar panels, supporting a strong protective system.