Three Reasons to Clear Excess Snow From Your Roof

Shoveling snow is a typical Canadian experience. You may even have a tried and true method for keeping your driveway clear or tackling stubborn ice on the porch steps. However, there’s one place that’s easy to neglect when it comes to snow removal – the roof. While it’s not something you can pay a neighbourhood kid to do, it’s important, essential maintenance for your home. Here’s why.

  1. The weight of excess snow can compromise the structural integrity of your roof, and in extreme cases, may cause it to collapse altogether. In general, a roof built to code can handle a snow load of 21 pounds per square foot. While the weight of snow varies based on snow type, a good guideline to keep in mind is that one square foot of one inch of snow weighs one pound. During periods of heavy snowfall, keep an eye out for signs of stress such as bulges in the ceiling, cracks in the walls and unexpected leaks.
  2. Snow is water waiting to happen, and with water comes the risk of water damage. Snow that melts in the afternoon sun, then freezes again overnight can create ice dams, preventing excess water from escaping and forcing it under shingles and into the interior structure of the roof, quickly causing expensive damage.
  3. More snow means more pressure on gutters and downspouts that are instrumental in keeping the siding of a structure free of water damage. Overloaded gutters can collapse altogether which is not a repair you want to deal with in the winter.


While protecting your roof is important, snow removal can be dangerous. Use a roof rake to carefully clear snow and ice from spots you can easily reach while standing firmly on the ground. For anything beyond that, a certified, insured professional is your best bet.




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The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice. Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks of Aviva plc. and are used under licence by Aviva Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies.