Snowballs, skiing, snowboarding and sledding, those are all the fun sides of snow. When it comes to digging out though, it can be dangerous and destructive.

Snow has weight. The general ratio for normal snow is 10:1. That means for every 10 inches snow there’s a liquid content of about an inch.

But it all depends on what type of snow is falling.

Fluffy snow doesn’t have as much water content and is lighter. The rough ratio is 15 inches of snow would equal one inch of water.

Wet snow holds the most moisture and is heavier than fluffy snow. The ratio is for every five inches of snow, there’s an inch of water.

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A big storm dropping feet of snow can quickly mean problems with roofs.

To put this into numbers, let’s take a 1,500 square foot house when 12 inches of snow falls. Fluffy snow would weigh about 4 pounds per square foot. That would equal over 6,200 pounds of snow on the roof. Heavier, wet snow would weigh about 12.5 pounds per square foot and put 18,000 pounds on top of the house.

Most roofs can handle around 20 pounds per square foot. A storm that drops over 24 inches of snow could cause major damage, and maybe even a complete collapse.

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