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Ottawa’s winter season can be particularly harsh on your home, and your roof takes the brunt of the impact. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can all pose a risk to the integrity of your roof and lead to potential damage if left unaddressed. As the experts in residential roofing services, we at Magnum Roofing understand the challenges that Ottawa winters can bring, and we’re here to help you protect your roof and home from the adverse effects of cold weather.

A well-maintained roof can save you both time and money by preventing costly repairs in the long run. Additionally, taking proactive measures by implementing a winter roof care plan can contribute to a longer lifespan for your roof. In this blog, we will provide essential winter roof care tips for Ottawa homeowners that cover aspects such as preventive maintenance, snow and ice removal, and identifying potential problem spots. By following our guidance, you can rest assured knowing your roof is well-prepared for Ottawa’s winter weather, providing lasting protection for your home and family.

Preventive Maintenance: Ensuring Your Roof Is Winter-Ready

Before winter hits, conduct a thorough inspection and address any issues to minimize damage from severe weather. Key tips for preventive maintenance include:

  • Clear Debris: Remove any debris (leaves, branches, etc.) from your roof and gutters, as accumulated materials can trap moisture and lead to ice dams.
  • Inspect Flashing: Check for damaged or loose flashing around vents, chimneys, and skylights to prevent water infiltration.
  • Repair Shingles: Replace any missing or damaged shingles to minimize the risk of leaks and water damage.
  • Check Ventilation and Insulation: Ensure your attic has proper ventilation and insulation to regulate temperature and reduce the risk of ice dams.

Proper Snow and Ice Removal Techniques

During the winter months, snow and ice accumulation on roofs can lead to increased stress on the structure and the risk of damage. Here are some tips for safe and effective snow removal:

  • Use a Roof Rake: A roof rake is designed to remove snow from the roof’s edge, helping to alleviate weight and ice dam formation. Avoid using metal tools that might damage the shingles.
  • Start from the Edge: Begin at the eaves, working upward in small sections to reduce the likelihood of snow sliding down and blocking gutters.
  • Avoid Applying Excessive Pressure: Use caution not to apply too much pressure and damage shingles while removing snow. Additionally, refrain from attempting to break up ice dams as it could result in further harm to your roof.
  • Know When to Call a Professional: If snow removal becomes too challenging, don’t hesitate to call experienced roofing professionals to handle the job safely and effectively.

Identifying and Addressing Potential Problem Spots

Keep an eye out for the following winter roofing issues to address them promptly:

  • Ice Dams: Blocked gutters and poor ventilation can lead to ice dams – ridges of ice that form at the eaves, preventing melted snow from draining properly. To avoid ice dams, maintain clean gutters and ensure adequate attic insulation and ventilation.
  • Icicles: Although icicles may appear beautiful, they can cause damage to your gutters or pose a hazard to anyone beneath them. Knock them down gently using a roof rake, or contact professionals for safe icicle removal.
  • Sagging Roof: A significantly sagging roof might indicate structural issues due to excessive weight from snow and ice. In such cases, it’s essential to consult a professional roofing service for immediate assessment and repair.
  • Interior Leaks: Check for signs of leaks in your home, especially around windows, skylights, and chimneys, as this may indicate a problem with your roofing system. Address these issues immediately to prevent further damage.

The Importance of Roof Ventilation and Insulation in Winter

Proper attic ventilation and insulation play a crucial role in preventing winter roof damage:

  • Regulating Attic Temperature: A well-ventilated attic maintains consistent temperatures, reducing the risk of ice dams and condensation-related issues.
  • Unwanted Moisture Control: Effective ventilation systems help remove excess moisture from the attic space, preventing mold, mildew, and other damage to the structure.
  • Energy Efficiency: Adequate insulation can help maintain comfortable interior temperatures, reducing strain on your heating system and saving on energy costs.
  • Preserve Roof Lifespan: By preventing ice dam formation and minimizing moisture-related problems, proper ventilation and insulation contribute to the overall lifespan of your roof.


Ottawa’s winter weather can be harsh, but with diligent roof care and maintenance, homeowners can minimize the risk of damage and maximize the lifespan of their roofs. Following our essential winter roof care tips will help you prevent common winter roofing issues such as ice dams, leaks and structural damage. Stay proactive with preventive maintenance, pay attention to potential problem spots, and remember the importance of proper attic ventilation and insulation.

Should you need assistance or encounter roofing concerns during Ottawa’s winter months, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of dedicated and skilled professionals is ready to help keep your roof in excellent condition throughout the season, providing the necessary repairs, installations, and inspections. Contact Magnum Roofing today to discuss your winter roofing needs and rest assured that your home is well-protected from the elements.