It’s the time to get the snow off your roof

Regina, SK (Jan. 11, 2022) – With the weather finally starting to turn after weeks of freezing temperatures, many Canadians are breathing easier. Unfortunately, after a deep freeze, warmer weather can bring new challenges of its own.

The freeze-thaw cycle creates ideal conditions for condensation and ice damming. Both will cause a lot of damage to the walls, ceiling and insulation of your home. They may even lead to mold.

The ideal conditions for ice damming look like this: freeze – thaw – freeze – thaw

While condensation isn’t covered by your insurance, ice damming may be covered at our highest coverage level. Fortunately, both problems can often be spotted and hopefully prevented by removing as much snow as possible off your roof, along with a few other tips. We’ve put together some information to help you stop condensation and ice damming right away – before it gets worse.

What’s condensation and ice damming?

These problems are caused by freeze-thaw weather cycles. The snow becomes a layer of insulation on your roof, which warms up the air in your attic. If you have poor attic ventilation, the warm air can lead to condensation. This also causes the snow to melt and roll down to the edge of the roof and the soffits. Unless the melted snow can drain properly, it’ll freeze and build up over time, creating ice dams.

Throughout the winter, if the ice dams spread up the roof, water will work its way under your shingles and get into your attic. The water can seep into your insulation, roof and walls. Warm air from your home will rise into your attic, making the ice dam grow. Over time, wet surfaces attract mold, which causes breathing problems and makes repairs much more expensive.

Ice damming is a vicious cycle! If you don’t take care of it right away, it’s going to get worse.

Five tips to prevent ice damming

  1. Get the snow off your roof. You should always keep the snow load on your roof to a minimum to prevent it from causing an ice dam. We don’t recommend climbing on the roof yourself. Use a roof rake or hire a professional to clear away excess snow. Read our tips for using a roof rake.
  2. Try and find the vent on your roof. When you find the vent, make sure to clear the snow and ice out of it – not just the snow on top of it.
  3. Clear your gutters and downspouts. Melting snow and icy water need somewhere to go. Clean leaves out of your downspouts and gutters in the fall and try to get rid of as much ice, snow and gunk as possible throughout the winter. Break off any icicles that build up around the roof of your home.
  4. Keep the air moving in your attic. Your attic needs good insulation and ventilation. Without it, the heat inside your home will leak into the attic and cause the snow on the roof to melt. We recommend bringing in a roofing contractor to make sure the airflow is working properly.
  5. Make sure fans and venting are sealed. Many homes have exhaust fans, air ducts, chimneys, attic hatches and pipes – and many of these are vented into the attic. They’re designed to move air flow properly, but if they aren’t sealed, extra air can escape around them. We recommend going into your attic and checking the seals. If they’re leaky, you can fix them yourself or hire a professional to take care of it for you. Good seals will save you money by keeping your house warmer and preventing your furnace from working harder to heat it.

Know the signs of an ice dam

Do you know what to look for? Check out how to spot the 5 signs of ice damming.


SGI CANADA is the property and casualty insurance division of SGI, offering products in five Canadian provinces. It operates as SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and also as Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. Products are sold through a network of independent insurance brokers. For more information, visit

Source: Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)

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