Snow removal: Tips for preventing damage

Canadian winters are beautiful, but they are hard on our homes and outdoor installations. Fortunately, you can reduce the risk of snow and ice damage to your property. Good snow removal practices and appropriate maintenance can spare you a lot of trouble, including that involved in submitting a home insurance claim. Here’s a comprehensive list of all our snow removal tips as a reminder.

1. Roofs: When and how to remove snow

Normally a roof can withstand the weight of the usual winter precipitation. However, keep an eye on situations that require attention to prevent damage.

You should remove snow from your roof if:

  • Attic or plumbing vents are obstructed with snow or ice
  • Water is not flowing freely in gutters and drains when the temperature rises
  • The roof makes creaking noises or doors stick after a heavy snowfall or an ice storm

Ideally, have the snow on your roof cleared by professionals to reduce the risk of breakage or injuries.

If you decide to do it yourself, take the following precautions:

  • Use a telescopic shovel instead of getting on the roof
  • Leave a thin layer of snow to avoid damaging the waterproof lining on the roof’s surface
  • Keep other people safe by indicating a no-go area around the house

2. Don’t neglect outdoor installations and foundations

Remove snow and ice regularly from parking areas, patios, balconies and verandas. This reduces the risk of your installations collapsing or someone slipping.

When it gets warmer, take care to remove snow from around the foundations and clear the gutters and catch basins. Doing so will prevent water seepage.

3. Temporary car shelters: Be meticulous

The following measures can prevent damage to or collapse of your shelter:

  • Inspect the bolts, anchorages and structure. Tighten or strengthen them, if necessary.
  • If storms or violent winds are in the forecast, firmly close the car shelter’s flaps.
  • Remove the snow from the shelter after each snowfall. Do this from outside of the shelter. If there is a lot of snow, remove a little from one side then from the other so that the shelter isn’t destabilized or deformed.

To find out more, read the complete article: 10 things to know about your temporary car shelter

4. Protecting above-ground swimming pools

If you have an above-ground pool, regularly remove the snow from the edges with a plastic shovel. Stand outside the pool and don’t walk on the pool edges while doing this.

To find out more, read the complete article: Protecting your above-ground swimming pool during winter

5. Travel trailer or motorhome: Prevent seepage

Do you have a recreational vehicle stored outside over the winter? If you remove the snow from it regularly, you’ll prevent seepage. Be sure to leave a thin layer of snow, however, to avoid damaging the rubber membrane.


Have a great winter!