What is Ice Damming?

Ice Damming

What is ice damming?

With the variations in temperature we have been experiencing this winter, it’s no wonder many of us are starting to have issues with ice building up on the edge of our house roof, known as ice damming.

Once you get a large volume of snow and you get a thaw, then you get ice-damming. A dam of ice forms at the eave of a shingled roof and prevents the melting snow from running off the roof. It ponds at the edge of the roof and tends to force its way back up under the shingles. And that’s what causes leaks. The weight of snow and ice can be substantial, causing damages to your roof and gutters and issues inside your home.

It’s a good idea to walk around the perimeter of your home and inspect it for big build ups of ice at the edge of the roof. Most homeowners will see big piles of snow on their roof, but more problematic is the ice that forms underneath.

We recommend speaking with a professional to find out tips on safe snow removal and solutions. If you are considering selling your home and have concerns about your roof, it is a good idea to get a professional opinion, before putting your house on the market. A local company we have used and trust is:

Sanderson Roofing


To help prevent ice damming it’s important to clear gutters in the fall after trees lose their leaves. If gutters are full of dead leaves, water will have a hard time draining away through downspouts and instead run over the edge of the eavestrough. When the temperature lowers, icicles will form and an ice dam can build up on the roof.

If you get any repairs to your roof or shingles replaced, keep the receipts and warranties, these are helpful documents to have to share with potential buyers and the new owners.

For more homeowner tips see the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Home Care Guide to Repair and Maintenance


Do you have real estate questions, curious as to what is happening in your Ottawa neighbourhood? We are very happy to answer your questions. We are experienced Ottawa and Kanata REALTORS®  and we would be pleased to help you, a family member or friend.

Feel free to Contact us