There are lots of situations in which you might want to know how much weight a roof supports. If you own an industrial-sized commercial apartment building, you might be interested to know how much weight a roof supported commercial HVAC system can carry, or the combined weight of your repair crew and maintenance personnel. It is also important for owners of residential homes, such as townhouses, to know how much weight a roof supports. This knowledge will allow you to determine the proper kind and size of siding, as well as the proper materials to use for the roof.
One of the most common questions concerning how much weight can a roof support concerns the weight of a falling tenant. These are often called “tenant roofs,” and they can have tremendous consequences in the event of a disaster or other emergency. Since these roofs do not have a type of protective covering, they can be particularly hazardous when people are falling from them, as they are less likely to have any kind of protection against weather-related injuries.
Commercial buildings with one story are often required by law to provide more support to these “tenant roofs” than for single-story homes, but many building owners ignore this requirement. Commercial buildings can have much heavier loads because they are, essentially, built up on top of preexisting roofs. The weight of these buildings becomes much higher when the addition of the roof on top is made. Obviously, this adds a lot of weight to the roof, and if it is made of poor quality materials, it can fail. The National Fire Protection Association has specific recommendations for commercial buildings regarding the use of various types of roofing materials.
It is certainly possible for a building to have less weight support than what was originally installed, but the building may also experience significant problems. A building with more support can be expected to last longer, and more support means that it will resist more pressure. However, buildings with little support are very vulnerable to failure. A low-grade roof may actually weaken the structure due to the constant exerted pressure. It is important to make sure that you know the answer to this question before purchasing a building.
There are many different reasons why buildings need more weight support than what would be installed if the roof were of average strength. Sometimes, these buildings have more than one floor. They can be constructed very quickly, and the building code usually requires that floors be supported at least 20 pounds per square foot. This requirement can be very strict, and there are some locales where it is not even imposed. If you live in a part of the country or state that does not have this requirement, then your chances of getting approved for this type of roof may be smaller.
The building code also needs to take into consideration the type of roof that is being used. For example, metal roofs are usually required to have extra support because they are often built in areas that experience extreme weather. Metal roofing materials are not always as strong as shingle types, and they cannot be used in all areas. Also, if the area is subject to heavy snowfall, then the amount of weight that the roof can withstand is going to be diminished dramatically. When you purchase a house, it is important to check to see whether the building code requires additional weight requirements on the roof.
If the building has asphalt shingles, then the amount of weight that it can support is typically quite low. However, you still have to consider the constant forces that the roof is subjected to throughout the day. Asphalt shingles do not last forever and have to be replaced on a regular basis. When you use heavier roofing materials, such as aluminum or steel, you can reduce your chances of replacing them every few years because they are very durable. Of course, they will need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep them looking as good as new.
You also have to consider how many stories and how many square feet you are dealing with when you are trying to answer the question, “How much Weight can a Roof Support?” If the roof supports the equivalent of over fifty stories and weighs hundreds of pounds per square foot, then you are in very good shape. If the number of stories and square feet is much lower, then you should probably scale back your plans to something that can accommodate less weight. There are many variables that you will have to take into account, but if you know how much weight can a roof support before you get started, you will be much better prepared for the future.