Moose Jaw has definitely gotten its fair share of snow this fall and winter with several storm systems passing through and dumping large amounts at a time.  

A lot of that snow has made its way onto the rooftops of homes, creating hazards such as additional weight and ice buildup called ice damming.  

An ice dam is a block of snow that forms on the edge of a roof. The dam traps water behind it and stops the moisture from draining off the roof.  

“Just like a human, it has to breathe and if it’s not breathing right then you get condensation,” says Collin Schoffer – the owner of Tip Top Roofing. “If your house isn’t properly insulated the ice dams will do a lot more damage to your home. If your home is insulated properly the ice dams wouldn’t be as bad.” 

One of the telltale signs an ice dam has formed is if icicles begin to appear on the edge of your roof. 

Schoffer says that ice damming prevention tips include heat tape on the first bottom three feet of your roof, continuously clearing the roof of the obstruction, a vapour barrier, insulation, and proper ventilation to your attic.  

Also, another way to prevent ice damming is in the fall to clean out gutters and downspouts of any leaves or obstructions to allow melting snow and ice to have somewhere to go.  

For those that may not be confident to climb onto their roof, Schoffer recommends what is called a roof rake. A roof rake is extendable and has a curved shovel to allow for easy removal of snow on the roof.  

The trapped water caused by the ice dam will take the path of least resistance, which in most cases is through the roof, eavestrough, or the soffit and into your home. This can cause extensive damage to the insulation, drywall, and the electrical system in your home. The seeped-in water can also lead to the formation of mold, which as we all know can cause a host of respiratory illnesses and asthma. 

Ice dams can also cause severe damage to your roof, which may lead you to have to replace the whole thing.  

If homeowners are forced re-shingle or re-roof, Schoffer offers a service that will prevent snow buildup and ice dams.  

“The best thing when you’re getting a re-roof done would be the ice and water protectant, which is a rubber compound and we use it on the bottom four feet. That is designed to get rid of ice dams. Once it starts to melt, water would not get back in because it would have nowhere to go but down.” 

In addition, if homeowners are getting their roofs quoted advise their contractors of any underlying issues so they can take the proper course of action to prevent further damage.  

Roofs are recommended to be cleared of any snow when you see: more than two feet of snow on the roof, cracks in your home’s walls, door friction or inside doors that no longer close, unusual cracking noises, ceiling deformation, or any roof ice buildup. 

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