Roofco is Winnipeg’s leader in rooftop snow and ice dam removal!

Hundreds of homeowners and commercial clients rely on us every year for winter maintenance on their rooftops through hourly, monthly or seasonal contracts. Roofco’s guarantee to its customers is to provide a service in a safe and timely fashion and to ensure that zero damage occurs on your roof or property while we are completing your maintenance. For these reasons, Roofco does not subcontract any work to third party contractors and each rooftop snow removal is completed by a minimum of 2 Roofco staff members.

Let Roofco worry about your roof through the winter season so that you don’t have to!


You may have noticed long icicles hanging from your gutters and not realize the significance of the damage that may be occurring behind them. Icicles are usually one of the first warning signs of possible ice dams. An Ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of your roof. They usually form at the gutters or soffit. When ice damns form, the water often backs up behind the ice dam and creates a pool. This pool of water can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas.


    A roof is an assembly of support beams, rafters, and other structural components. It is topped off with a material covering the top of your home. The amount and spacing of your structural support will determine how much additional weight your roof will withstand. The slope, the material it is constructed from, and even the density of the snow will all impact your home differently.

    Heavy Snow Regions

    Winnipeggers experience higher than average snowfall, the best option for your situation would be something that is both steep and smooth. This will encourage snow to slide off rather than accumulate rapidly. You will also want your support beams close together to increase the strength of your roof.

    The worst type of roof to have in case of a snow storm is something that is totally flat, or only marginally sloped. Some homes may have a steep main room, but flat roofing below. This will increase your risk of collapse as snow slides from the roof above, accumulating on the vulnerable flat roof underneath. Other risk factors would be wide spaces between your rafters. This will reduce the overall structural integrity of your roof.

    The condition of the roof can be a risk factor regardless of the design. Even if you have a steep roof, if your support beams have been cracked by age, bent or seem to be infested with mold or termites, your roof could be in danger in a snowstorm. Assess the state of your roof before winter to make sure everything is structurally sound. Even if your roof appears to be in good shape, when the weather clears, it is always a good idea to use a roof rake to clear heavy patches of snow from the top of your home.


    • Most roofs are able to withstand winter snow due to three main principles: inertia, short duration, and reduced tributary areas.
    • Tributary areas.Roofs are designed so that any snow that collects is focused toward the strongest portions of the roof.
    • Your roof would be at much higher risk if it had to bear the weight of snow all season long. Unfortunately, this is often the case in Winnipeg.
    • Your local building code usually ensures that your rafters are spaced close enough that they are able to handle high amounts of weight without bending, which is referred to as inertia. As long as your home is up to the code in your town, you should be fine.



    An ice dam is a ridge of ice that typically forms along the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off of the roof.

    Poor insulation and lack of adequate ventilation in the attic space causes the roof deck to heat up and melt the snow above.  When it does, the water (AKA melted snow) flows down the roof and gets backed-up behind the dam with nowhere to drain off.  Not only does this pool of water eventually refreeze into more ice (and continue to grow in size), but in the meantime the water can work its way under the shingles (or other roofing material).  At this point, the water can leak into the home or building, and quickly cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and other internal parts of the structure.

    • Indoor heat rises through the ceiling, into the attic, and warms the roof (from the underside). The shingles get warm.
    • Snow that has fallen on the now-heated part(s) of the roof melts. The melted snow then flows down the roof until it reaches the part of the roof that is lower than 32F (most commonly the overhangs). This water refreezes and begins to form an ice dam.
    • The dam gets bigger and bigger as more snow melts and refreezes. Water now begins to pool behind the increasingly large wall of ice.
    • Eventually, the water works its way through the shingles (or other roofing material) and flows through the roof decking and into the attic. From here it can seep through the ceiling, the interior walls, and into the rest of the building.



    With heavy winter snowfalls and frigid temperatures, it is common for snow and ice to accumulate on roofs in Winnipeg. When snow and ice accumulate on top of your roof, they can quickly become a hazard, especially along flat surfaces and seams, such as the chimney. Here are a few of the dangers snow and ice can potentially cause and why they’re so important to avoid.

    Snow Can Be Much Heavier Than You May Realize
    As light and fluffy as snow may appear when it falls, we know how deceiving it can be and anyone who has experienced shoveling knows this deception all too well. Once that snow begins to melt and combine with water, it can become extremely heavy. In fact, 10-12 inches of fresh snow equates to 1 inch of water, which weighs about 5 pounds. You can imagine just how heavy and dangerous all of that snow that’s been accumulating on your roof can really be.

    It Can Weaken the Structural Integrity
    It can take little time for lingering snow to soften the surface of the roof and eventually weaken the structural integrity of it. Although this can usually take a more significant amount of time to cause severe damage, a heavy snowfall can be all that’s needed to place pressure on areas that may already be frail and decaying.

    It Can Cause Leaks Throughout Your Home
    Accumulating ice and snow can cause a form something called an ice dam. In the cold weather, ice can collect along the edge of your roof and prevent melting snow from draining off as it should. This water gets backed up, and wants to find somewhere to go. As a result, it can leak into your home and damage the walls, ceiling, or insulation.

    It Can Cause Areas to Collapse
    Roofs that are flat or built without the proper support structure for minimizing weight and pooling moisture, are the most susceptible for collapsing under excessive weight. This is why it is imperative to consider your location and climate whenever you are designing or considering purchasing a home with a flat roof.

    Apply Preventative Measures
    Annual maintenance and inspections are essential for helping to prevent any severe consequences from all of that accumulating snow. You can contact us and have an expert assess and inspect your roof and of course, perform any repairs that might be necessary to keep it good and strong against those harsh and potentially heavy winter elements. We also offer rooftop snow removal in the winter to reduce weight on the roof and prevent the formation of roof dams.



    Ice dam prevention efforts tend to fall into one of two categories

    • Ensuring on your roof snow does not melt.
    • Ensuring there isn’t any snow on your roof to melt in the first place.

    There are only four causes of ice dams:

    • A hot attic. Your hot attic turns your rooftop into a stovetop, virtually guaranteeing snow-melt.
    • Fluctuating temperatures. Typically, temperatures rise and melt snow during the day, and then plunge at night, refreezing the snow.
    • Radiant heat from the sun. That can melt snow even when temperatures hold steady.
    • Certain “perfect ice dam temperatures.” Temperatures between 30 and 32 degrees present a risk, because it only takes a little bit of heat either from the attic or from the sun to melt snow.

    Of these four causes, “hot attics” are the most common.

    Why doesn’t all the melted snow just run harmlessly off your roof?

    Two reasons:

    Even if you’ve got a hot attic, some places on your roof are colder. Usually, you’ll find these places around the overhang of the roof: the spots near the edge of your roof that hang over your house. The attic doesn’t heat those parts from underneath, so they remain cold. They’re often rimmed with metal gutters, which can get even colder. , but they do extend your overhang, and they hold freezing temperatures quite well. There may be other places on your roof that do not touch the attic directly. Those areas are vulnerable to ice dams, too. As soon as the melted snow hits those cold areas it will freeze again.

    The other reason melted snow stays on your roof long enough to cause problems is the leisurely nature of the drip. The melted snow (the water) drips along the top of the snow pack slowly. It’s not like watching water run along a smooth surface. Rather, it takes some time to get to the edge. Plenty of time to freeze, even before making it to the cold overhangs. That’s one reason ice dams can form anywhere on your roof. It’s also why the water never makes it to the ground.


    Ice Dam Prevention in a Nutshell

    What causes ice dams?  Snow melting and refreezing.  How can ice dams be prevented?  By keeping the snow off your roof.

    Don’t want to deal with a single one of our ice dam prevention suggestions? You can call us.  We’re not just an ice dam removal company: We also offer roof snow removal to all of Winnipeg and surrounding areas.

    We can shovel the snow or (more likely) rake it from your roof; it just depends on your exact roof type and what’s the quickest, easiest, and safest way to remove the snow.  For larger commercial jobs, we may even use a snow blower.

    With heavy winter snowfalls and frigid temperatures, it is common for snow and ice to accumulate on roofs in Winnipeg. When snow and ice accumulate on top of your roof, they can quickly become a hazard, especially along flat surfaces and seams, such as the chimney. Here are a few of the dangers snow and ice can potentially cause and why they’re so important to avoid.