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Too much snow on the roof? Hazard!

Québec’s national winter sport is snow shoveling. Especially some years when our snow falls are very abundant.

Usually, after clearing the snow from our car, the driveway, the steps, one has had enough of shovelling and does not look for other areas to clear, that’s why one often neglects the roof of our home. But did you know that:

  • Snow can get quite heavy and when the load becomes important, it can affect the structure of your roof.  How to find out if your roof has been affected? Check for the signs of stress. Watch for bulges in the ceiling, cracks in the walls and unexpected leaks.
  • Snow can also cause damage when it melts. Pay attention to the risk of water damage or ice dams that form when temperatures drop and the melted snow freezes again. Ice dams prevent water from circulating by holding it under the shingles and in some cases into the interior structure of the roof. This can result in rather expensive damage.  Important: It can be difficult to spot ice dams because the top layer of snow often remains intact. Sometimes the damage only appears in the spring. There may be a very small leak that does not grab attention, and that lasts weeks or months. Remember that just enough water is needed to moisten a dry wall or the plaster from a ceiling and thus cause some staining and eventually some microbial growth and/or structural damage.
  • Finally, gutters and downspouts can also get damaged under the weight of heavy snowfalls.

If you decide to remove snow from your roof yourself, it is recommended to use a special shovel for roofs. Ones fitted with a telescopic handle will enable you to get the job done with both feet firmly planted on the ground.

Be aware, however, that should you need to go up on the roof to remove the snow, this is hazardous as much for the person who is up on the roof as for anyone who circulates around the house. Besides the risk of a fall, one needs also considering the proximity of any electrical wiring and installations.

All that being considered, it’s probably better to call upon specialists.


Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Source :  Régie du bâtiment du Québec