Your roof is a complicated system, and the Colorado winter can bring many roofing woes to homeowners. But, despite the concern for proper insulation and the threat of ice dams, there is another concern looming around the corner: is my roof strong enough for Santa?
Just when you think you’re prepared for everything, the arrival of Santa, his sleigh and his nine reindeer is right around the corner. If your kids have been nice, he’s going to need a place to land while he shimmies down your chimney, fills your stockings and takes a well-deserved cookie and milk break. So, let’s see just how much weight your roof needs to carry to make this a very merry Christmas.
The equation would look something like this:
Santa + 4(Male Reindeer) + 4(Female Reindeer) + Rudolph + Sleigh + Presents(Children-Naughty Children) = X
Santa, as we all know, is a jolly old fellow. Since Santa is usually holed up in his workshop at the North Pole, only venturing out one day a year, it’s been hard to get him to jump on a scale. But judging by his belly, and his cookie consumption, we’re going to guestimate that Santa weighs in at about 350 lbs.
When it comes to Santa’s reindeer, we went to the source, Clement C. Moore’s poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” (a.k.a. “Twas the Night Before Christmas”). Here we are told that Santa’s reindeer are “tiny.” A little more digging, and we find out that the tiniest reindeer in existence is the Svalbard reindeer from Norway. A healthy Svalbard male reindeer will weigh in at an average of 170 lbs, and a healthy female will weigh an average of 135 lbs. However, we are not entirely sure that all of Santa’s reindeer are male, so we’ve decided to average the weight of four males and four females, bringing us to a total of 1220 lbs.
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Now, some of you may have noticed that the classic poem only mentions eight reindeer. That’s Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But, we can’t forget about Rudolph, so we added another male to the equation. That brings us to 1390 lbs just for the reindeer!
The poem also mentions a tiny sleigh. Again, we’re going to guestimate that even the tiniest sleigh is going to add another 100 lbs to our total.
And now for the important part, the presents. There are 2.2 billion children under the age of 15 in the world, according to Unicef. Giving every child the benefit of the doubt we’re going to say that they have all been nice, for once, and all deserve a present. (You can see where this is going, right?!) Even if every child gets a light weight toy, say .5lbs, that’s still going to be an additional 1.1 billion pounds, just for the presents. With the average residential roof being able only to handle about 20 lbs per square foot, even with a little Christmas magic, the weight of Santa, his reindeer, his sleigh and his sack full of presents is going to be more that your roof can handle.
Our recommendations: save your roof from severe damage on Christmas Eve and make a big “WELCOME, SANTA. PLEASE LAND HERE” sign on your lawn.
From our family to yours, have a happy holiday season!