Aurora Roofing: Article About Load Bearing Capacity
The load bearing capacity of a roof is how much weight it is able to support. Just as a home's foundation has to hold up the weight that is placed upon it, a roof has to be able to handle the weight on it. Load bearing walls and support structures in a home pass along weight to the foundation. With a roof, beams, joists and trusses work in a similar manner to provide support for the roof.
Roofing materials themselves tend to not be very heavy, but Aurora roofing may have to hold up an enormous amount of weight. Shingles, a roof deck and weatherproofing may actually be fairly lightweight, especially since this weight is spread evenly over a roof. However, a roof will also have to hold up a variety of things, like chimneys, HVAC systems and solar equipment.
A roof is also likely to need to hold up an enormous amount of weight in the winter when it snows. Therefore, it is important that a roof's load bearing capacity well exceeds the load roofing materials will place upon it.
It is essential to keep the weight on a roof from exceeding its load bearing capacity because it could cause the roof to collapse. One of the common reasons for a roof collapse is when there is a large amount of standing water on a roof.
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When it rains heavily or for several days in a row, water may remain on the roof, normally either in a depression or an area where it cannot easily flow off, such as where two sections of the roof meet. Water that has been on a roof for more than 48 hours is considered to be standing water, and it can add an enormous burden to a roof.
One inch of water over a one square foot area weighs five pounds. An inch of water spread over 10 square feet means 500 extra pounds of weight for a roof to hold. When water pools on a roof, it tends to make the roof sag due to the weight, allowing more water and weight to gather.
Ice dams can do something similar, but a depression in a roof isn't required. When snow melts and refreezes again at the edge of a roof, until the ice melts again, water cannot flow off of a roof. This creates a situation where enormous amounts of water may be adding weight to a roof, on top of the weight of snow.