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ice damming
ice dammage

Ice Damming Precaution & Removal in Montreal

When snow piles up on your roof, don't risk injury to yourself or damage to your property by removing it yourself. At Belgrave Roofing, we provide an ice damming service in Montreal to help you stay safe

What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams are the accumulation of ice at the eaves and valleys of roofs. Insufficient attic insulation and attic ventilation can cause roof snow to melt and slide down to the eaves, where the roof surface is cooler and the melting snow freezes to the roof. Subsequent melting causes water to pool behind this dam and sometimes the water seeps between the shingle layers, wetting the roof deck and possibly the walls and ceilings below.

Take Precautions against Ice Dams

Your home insurance, depending on the type of policy, may cover you for interior damage, but usually not for snow and ice removal. Even properly installed roofs will leak with extensive ice build-up. Our guarantees do not cover ice and water backup especially when these problems could be avoided with minimal maintenance. In short, the homeowner should take reasonable precautions.

Emergency Snow and Ice Removal

At Belgrave Roofing, we provide emergency snow and ice removal services. If you hold a roof warranty with us, we recommend that you call us when you need ice or snow services, rather than risk voiding your warranty. We're committed to providing preferred rates and quality service to our past and present clients.

Facts about Ice Damming

  1. The attic directly above the heated house is warmer than at the eaves. Uneven melting and freezing causes ice dams. Snow on the upper portions of the roof continues to melt at the shingle surface. This water trickles down to the colder roof edge where it freezes, forming an ice dam. This can happen on 20-year-old roofs and brand new roofs alike.

  2. Poorly ventilated soffit results in an even greater temperature discrepancy where the roof overhangs the exterior wall, even if there are plenty of vents on the rooftop. Air should enter at the soffit, flow up into the attic, and out the rooftop vents to regulate the attic temperature. Let us check and correct if necessary.

  3. Ice damming prevents water from flowing off the roof and causes pooling. Shingles are not made to hold water, they are meant to shed water. During a rapid thaw or winter rain, trapped water seeps under shingles and into the roof.

  4. Low pitch or flat roofs pool greater quantities of water. Chimneys, pipes, vents, valleys and other roof intersections increase the likelihood of ice dam problems. Older homes, even with steep sloped roofs, are more inclined to ice damming because soffits are generally very poorly ventilated.

  5. Some roofs have the protection of a waterproofing ice and water shield membrane under the shingles along the eaves. The membrane offers protection only where it is installed and when nothing intersects it. A 3 to 6 foot wide membrane at the eaves, will not help if the ice dam goes back 7 to 15 feet or if there is a chimney intersecting the membrane. At Belgrave we install a minimum of 6 feet on every project.

  6. As a preventive measure, have the snow removed before an ice dam forms. Snow removal using plastic scoops does not generally present a danger of serious roof/shingle damage.

  7. Once ice is present it can still be removed. Minor roof damages may be inevitable depending on severity of ice. However, these can be repaired quite easily compared to interior damages and lost valuables.

  8. If the ice is too severe, have channels cut into the ice at 5 to 10 foot intervals to allow water to drain off the roof.

  9. Without ice removal, if there are more major snow storms on the way, you will be back to the original problem. Timing is a crucial factor, and often difficult to gauge. Maintenance is key.

  10. Generally, there is little danger of roof collapse except on large flat roofs. Sometimes, falling ice can present a danger on steep steel or slate type roofs. The real problem is leakage. Roofs themselves will not sustain much damage from ice dams or from leaks. However, interior structures and objects such as drywall, paint, furniture and artwork will undergo damage.

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