Client Service Alert – Excess Snow and the Risk to Property

Large amounts of snow on a roof

Snow, those of us who live in the North have a love/hate relationship with the white stuff.  When we get dumped on with a storm, most of us either hibernate or get excited about reaching for the skis.  Often, you’ll hear your friends and neighbours moan and groan about having to shovel the walkway and stairs, the driveway, and the driveway again.   With all this attention paid to clearing away the snow to protect those walking and the vehicles parking on our properties, we often forget to look up.  Removing accumulated snow from the roofs of your home and outbuildings is an excellent way to protect the property from damage and yourself from injury.

According to the National Research Council of Canada, the minimum snow load that a roof should be able to handle is 21 pounds per square foot. (That’s about 2 to 2.5 feet of packed snow)!  As your home and roof age, the risk of damage to your home increases.   Watch for signs of impending collapse:

  • Sagging ceilings
  • Visible cracks in ceilings and interior walls
  • Leaks
  • Unusual cracking or popping sounds
  • Warped or bent utility pipes
  • Doorways that won’t close or are hard to open

You can help avoid these symptoms by always performing regular maintenance on your roof, keeping drains, gutter and downspouts clear of snow and being diligent with removing excess snow from the roof itself.   To reduce the risk of damage to shingles or injury to yourself, consult insured professionals to help you keep the surface as clear as possible of dangerous weight and ice.   

Stay Warm