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Which pitch roof is best for snow?

Oct 8

Many homes in areas that receive heavy snowfall can have roofs that can handle snow loads up to 15-30 pounds per square foot. According to Woodbridge, a pound of fresh snow can weigh between 3 and 21 psf depending on whether it is light or heavy.

Roof valleys and areas where two slopes meet can become snowy quickly. Melting snow can also lead to heavier ice patches than wet snow. How will this extra weight affect the roof? You might wonder if your roof can withstand the winter snowfall in your area. Here are three types of roofs that work well for heavy snow conditions.

The Best Roof Shape to Protect Heavy Snow

Although a roof with many valleys or slopes can give a house a lavish look, snow can build up. Roofs with gable windows, chimneys, skylights and porch roofs can also collect snowdrifts.

All this being said, multi-span gable roofing is the best choice for heavy snow areas. Because there are fewer places for snow to accumulate, it is more likely that the snow will slide off its own.

The Best Roof Slope Slopes for Heavy Snow

As you can see, the slope of a roof makes it easier for snow to be shed. You will see steeper roof slopes in northern states and more snow-prone areas.

Woodbridge Roofing recommends that a roof slope greater than 30deg is the best way to prevent snow from building up. However, snow will not fall from a roof with a gentler slope. Removing the snow with a shovel or a broom might be necessary.

The Best Roof Material for Heavy Snow

This category is the most controversial of the three best types of roofs. There are many pros and cons to each type. When choosing a roofing material that can withstand heavy snowfall, you should consider its durability in extreme cold weather and energy efficiency.

Metal roofing is the most suitable material to protect against the cold. Metal roofing is durable and can withstand extreme temperature changes. It is almost maintenance-free. Metal roofs will protect your home from the snow's heavy weight. Because it is slippery, snow will slide off it more quickly than other materials.

Slate, asphalt roofing, and composite shingles are top-rated for heavy snowfall.

Designing roofs for snow-shedding success

Pitch is a critical element of any roof's design. Also known as roof slope, Roof pitch, in layman's terms, is simply a measurement of the roof surface's slope.

Roof pitch is usually measured in inches of elevation over a 1-foot roof length. If a roof's pitch rises by four inches per foot, it is often denoted as "4/12". Higher pitched roofs will naturally have greater numerators. 


When we combine the three best roof types, it becomes clear that a house with a multi-span gable roof at a pitch of 30deg and covered in metal roofing material is the best to withstand heavy snowfall.