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Accumulation of Snow and Ice on your Home: What to do?

Assurance Habitation | Lussier Dale Parizeau
Lussier Dale Parizeau | February 26, 2019
During the winter season, Quebec is subject to extreme weather conditions. The accumulation of snow and ice, cold weather, high winds and black ice can cause damage to your home. Here are some tips to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Inspect your roof carefully

If not cleared properly, the accumulation of snow on your roof could cause a series of damages: threats to the structural integrity, infiltration of water during melting, or worse still, partial or total collapse of the roof. Be careful!

Although roofs are usually built to withstand Quebec snowfalls, you still have to be careful-especially during extreme snowstorms.

Watch for the following signs that may indicate that it is time to clear your roof:

  • Accumulation of more than two feet of snow
  • Presence of ice
  • Cracks on walls or unusual creaking
  • Deformed ceiling
  • Internal doors stuck or rubbing together
  • Infiltration of water coming from the roof or attic

For snow removal, it is recommended to use a telescopic excavator, which allows you to remove snow or other debris from the ground. If you are uncomfortable doing so, or the roof is too frozen, call a specialized contractor.

Above-ground pools

Designed to withstand lateral pressures (produced by the weight of water), above-ground pools are more vulnerable to vertical pressures when snow accumulates. In the spring when the snow melts, expands and becomes a large block of ice, damages may be produced – especially to the canvas. Better to clear the debris to make sure it does not fall under the weight of the snow!

Basements and other areas

You must pay special attention to the basement and remove snow that may have accumulated in front of your basement windows. The risks of infiltration are high when a house has openings in the foundations near the ground. Heat loss through windows, among other things, can melt the snow, which can in turn become colanders. Windows must also act as emergency exits that can be accessible all year, for the safety of the people inside the house.

Finally, think about clearing snow and de-icing:

  • Any entrances
  • Stairs
  • Galleries, balconies or terraces
  • Car-port(s)

By taking these precautions, you will be better protected against the risks related to snow fall and be able to enjoy winter with peace of mind.

Contact your broker for further information. 
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