Roof Safety in Heavy Snow Conditions

January 10, 2014

Huron County, ON – Huron County’s Emergency Services, in conjunction with area Municipal Community Emergency Management Coordinators (CEMC) and local Fire Departments, wish to remind residents not to forget about extreme snow accumulation on roof tops.

A building’s ability to stand up to the weight of ice and snow depends on: live and dead load design, the age of the building and the roof, condition of the roof, elevation, and maintenance during or after a major snow storm.

Approximate calculations for snow loads are as follow:

  • Light/Fluffy snow: 3 to 7 lbs a square foot
  • Drifted compacted snow: 20 lbs a square foot
  • 1 inch of ice: 5 lbs per square foot
  • 1 foot of ice: 57 lbs per square foot

Environment Canada is forecasting a significant warm-up and possible rain or freezing rain in the coming days. Ice weighs significantly more than heavy, wet snow per inch depth making it important to prevent ice buildup on roof structures.

If you have significant snow buildup on your roof, please consider using a “roof rake” to pull down snow safely or contact a roofing company for snow removal service.


For more information, contact: David Lew, Chief, Emergency Services, County of Huron at 519.524.8394, ext. 3312 or toll free 1.888.524.8394.


For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)