winter challenges and roof maintenance

Winter Challenges and Roof Maintenance

Winter Challenges and Roof Maintenance


As winter’s icy grip takes hold, your roof becomes the frontline defender against a barrage of challenges. From heavy snow loads to ice dams and freezing temperatures, the winter season poses unique threats to the integrity of your roof. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the specific challenges winter brings and outline proactive roof maintenance solutions to ensure your home or business remains protected during the colder months.

Understanding Winter Challenges:

Winter brings a host of challenges that can compromise the health of your roof. Being aware of these issues is the first step in implementing effective preventative measures. Let’s delve into the most common winter challenges:

Heavy Snow Loads:

Accumulating snow can exert tremendous weight on your roof, leading to structural strain and potential damage. In regions with heavy snowfall, this becomes a significant concern, particularly for older or compromised structures.

Proactive Solution: Regularly monitor snow accumulation and consider snow removal services to alleviate excess weight, preventing structural damage and ensuring the continued integrity of your roof.

Ice Dams:

Ice dams form when melting snow refreezes at the roof’s edge, creating a barrier that prevents proper drainage. This can lead to water backing up under the roof covering, causing leaks and potential water damage.

Proactive Solution: Install heat cables along the roof’s edge to facilitate melting and discourage ice dam formation. Additionally, ensure proper attic insulation and ventilation to minimize temperature variations that contribute to ice damming.

Freezing and Thawing Cycles:

Fluctuating temperatures create a cycle of freezing and thawing, which can contribute to the deterioration of roofing materials. This continuous expansion and contraction can weaken the roof’s structure over time.

Proactive Solution: Conduct a pre-winter roof inspection to identify and address any existing damage. Ensure that your roofing materials are in good condition to withstand the rigors of freezing and thawing cycles throughout the winter.


Cold temperatures outside and warm air inside can lead to condensation within the attic space. Excessive condensation can result in mold growth, wood rot, and insulation damage.

Proactive Solution: Improve attic ventilation to maintain consistent temperatures and reduce the potential for condensation. Adequate ventilation helps regulate humidity levels within the attic, preventing moisture-related issues.

Proactive Roof Maintenance Solutions for Winter:

Snow Removal:

Regularly removing accumulated snow from your roof is crucial, especially after heavy snowfall. Use a snow rake or hire professionals to safely clear excess snow, preventing the risk of structural strain.

Ice Dam Prevention:

Install ice and water shield membranes along the roof’s edge to prevent water infiltration. Adequate attic insulation and ventilation are also key in maintaining uniform temperatures to discourage ice dam formation.

Roof Inspections:

Schedule a professional roof inspection before winter sets in. Experts can identify weak points, potential leaks, and areas susceptible to ice dams, allowing for timely repairs and reinforcement.

Gutter Maintenance:

Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to facilitate proper water drainage. Clogged gutters can contribute to ice dam formation and compromise the effectiveness of the entire drainage system.

Attic Ventilation:

Proper attic ventilation is crucial in minimizing condensation. Ensure that vents are unobstructed, allowing for the free flow of air to regulate temperatures and prevent moisture buildup.

Roof Material Inspection:

Examine your roofing materials for signs of wear, damage, or missing components. Replace any damaged shingles, flashing, or seals to maintain the roof’s integrity and prevent leaks.

Sealant Application:

Apply roof sealants around penetrations, such as vents and chimneys, to prevent water infiltration. Check existing seals for signs of wear and reapply as needed.

Insulation Upgrades:

Enhance attic insulation to maintain consistent temperatures and reduce the risk of ice dam formation. Proper insulation not only conserves energy but also protects the structural components of your roof.


As winter descends, proactive roof maintenance becomes a shield against the seasonal challenges that can compromise your home or business. By understanding the specific threats posed by heavy snow loads, ice dams, freezing and thawing cycles, and condensation, you can implement targeted solutions to fortify your roof.

From regular snow removal and gutter maintenance to professional inspections and attic ventilation improvements, a comprehensive approach to winter roof care ensures your structure remains resilient in the face of winter’s harsh conditions. Embrace these proactive measures, and let your roof stand strong, weathering the chill with confidence and durability. Questions? Call the experts at Cambie Roofing today.


Preventative Maintenance 101

Preventative Maintenance 101

A well-maintained roof is the first line of defence for any home or business, protecting against the elements and ensuring structural integrity. Preventative maintenance plays a pivotal role in extending the lifespan of your roof, whether it’s brand new or has weathered the elements for years. In this comprehensive Preventative Maintenance 101 guide, we will explore the essential steps to maintain both new and old roofs, highlight common issues to look out for, and discuss when it’s time to call the professionals at Cambie Roofing for expert assistance.

Maintaining New Roofs:

Regular Inspections:

New roofs benefit greatly from regular inspections. Conduct a visual check to ensure there are no visible signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles. Early detection allows for prompt repairs, preventing issues from escalating.

Clearing Debris:

Keep the roof free of debris like leaves, branches, and dirt. Accumulated debris can lead to water pooling, which can compromise the structural integrity of the roof over time.

Gutter Maintenance:

Clean and inspect gutters regularly. Proper drainage is essential for preventing water damage. Ensure that gutters are free from debris and securely attached to the roof.

Trimming Overhanging Branches:

Trim branches that hang over the roof. Falling branches can cause damage, and overhanging branches provide easy access for pests like squirrels to access the roof.

Maintaining Old Roofs:

Thorough Inspections:

Regular and thorough inspections are even more crucial for older roofs. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracked or curling shingles, sagging areas, or water stains on the ceiling.

Sealing and Coating:

Consider applying a protective sealant or coating to extend the life of an old roof. This can provide an additional layer of protection against the elements.

Addressing Leaks Promptly:

If you notice any signs of leaks or water damage inside your home, address them promptly. Water infiltration can lead to serious issues, including mold growth and structural damage.

Replacing Damaged Shingles:

Replace any damaged or missing shingles immediately. Damaged shingles compromise the integrity of the roof and can lead to more extensive issues if not addressed promptly.

Common Roofing Issues to Look Out For:


Leaks are a common issue and can result from various factors, including damaged flashing, missing shingles, or worn-out sealant around roof penetrations. Regular inspections can help identify and address leaks before they cause significant damage.

Mold and Mildew:

The presence of mold and mildew can indicate moisture-related issues. Proper ventilation and addressing leaks promptly can help prevent the growth of mold and protect indoor air quality.

Poor Drainage:

Inadequate drainage can lead to water pooling on the roof, increasing the risk of leaks and water damage. Ensure that gutters are functioning correctly, and downspouts direct water away from the foundation.

Wind and Storm Damage:

High winds and storms can cause significant damage to roofs, including lifting or tearing off shingles. After severe weather events, conduct a thorough inspection to assess any potential damage.

When to Call the Professionals at Cambie Roofing:

Extensive Damage:

If you notice extensive damage to your roof, including large areas of missing or damaged shingles, it’s time to call in the professionals. Attempting to repair significant damage without the necessary expertise can lead to further issues.

Persistent Leaks:

Persistent leaks that are challenging to locate or fix may require the expertise of roofing professionals. They have the tools and knowledge to identify and address complex leaks efficiently.

Aging Roof:

If your roof is reaching the end of its expected lifespan, it’s advisable to consult with professionals. They can assess the overall condition of the roof and recommend whether repairs or a replacement is the best course of action.

Professional Inspections:

Regular professional inspections, ideally performed annually, can identify potential issues before they escalate. Professionals at Cambie Roofing can provide a comprehensive assessment of your roof’s health and recommend preventative measures.


Preventative maintenance is the key to ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your roof, whether it’s a new installation or has stood the test of time. Regular inspections, addressing issues promptly, and enlisting the help of professionals like Cambie Roofing when needed are essential steps in maintaining a durable and resilient roof. By following these Preventative Maintenance 101 guidelines, you can protect your investment, enhance the overall safety of your property, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-maintained roof. Cambie will be going in depth about preventative maintenance in upcoming articles because we want our readers to understand how important it is to properly maintain their roofs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions.

ways winter impacts your roof

Ways winter impacts your roof

Ways Winter Impacts Your Roof

As winter descends upon the northern landscapes of Canada, homeowners face a unique set of challenges in ensuring their abodes stand resilient against the season’s frosty grip. Among the vulnerable components of a home, the roof stands as a silent sentinel, combating heavy snow loads, freezing temperatures, and a myriad of winter-related adversities. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the manifold ways winter impacts your roof and unveil effective solutions to safeguard your home during the colder months.

Heavy Snowfall and Structural Stress:

The picturesque snowfall that blankets your home can be enchanting, but beneath its beauty lies a potential threat. The accumulation of heavy snow on your roof poses a significant risk to its structural integrity. The sheer weight of the snow can stress the roofing materials and framing, leading to potential damage or, in extreme cases, collapse. This risk is especially pronounced for flat or low-pitched roofs. To mitigate this threat, proactive snow removal becomes crucial. Consider using a roof rake to safely clear excess snow or, for larger tasks, ask the professionals at Cambie Roofing for a snow removal referral, to alleviate the burden and preserve your roof’s resilience.

Ice Dams and Water Intrusion:

Winter’s fluctuating temperatures contribute to the formation of ice dams along the roof’s edge. These dams obstruct the natural drainage of melting snow, creating pools of water that may seep into your home, causing water damage. Proper insulation and ventilation in the attic are paramount to counter this issue. By maintaining a consistent temperature on the roof, you can thwart the conditions conducive to ice dam formation and prevent potential water intrusion. Adequate insulation also helps to minimize heat loss, reducing the risk of ice damming.

Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Shingle Vulnerability:

Winter’s relentless freeze-thaw cycles pose a unique threat to roofing materials, particularly shingles. The constant contraction and expansion can render shingles brittle, leading to cracks and vulnerabilities. A thorough pre-winter roof inspection is paramount to identify any compromised shingles and address them promptly. This proactive measure ensures your roof remains steadfast against the elements. Consider investing in high-quality shingles designed to withstand the rigours of winter, providing an added layer of protection.

Condensation Challenges and Attic Health:

Condensation and moisture issues within the attic space escalate during winter. Inadequate insulation allows warm air from your living spaces to infiltrate the attic, where it meets the cold roof surface, leading to condensation. This moisture can foster mold growth and compromise your roof’s structural integrity over time. Prioritize proper attic insulation and ventilation to create a barrier against these winter-induced challenges. Adequate ventilation allows for proper airflow, preventing the buildup of excess moisture and maintaining a healthy attic environment.

Gutter and Downspout Conundrums:

Winter poses unique challenges for gutters and downspouts, often leading to freezing and blockages. When not addressed, these issues can impede proper water drainage, causing potential damage. Regularly clearing debris from gutters and ensuring downspouts remain unobstructed are essential preventive measures. This not only protects your roof but also safeguards your home’s foundation from water-related issues. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize the accumulation of debris, reducing the need for frequent cleanings.

Final Thoughts

As winter casts its wintry spell, understanding the nuanced impact on your roof is crucial for homeowners in Canada. By proactively addressing the challenges of heavy snow loads, ice dams, freeze-thaw cycles, condensation, and gutter issues, you can fortify your roof against the elements. Embrace these solutions to ensure your home stands resilient and secure throughout the winter, weathering the challenges with grace and strength. A well-prepared roof not only preserves the structural integrity of your home but also provides peace of mind as you navigate the colder months with confidence.

Winterizing your roof in Canada.

Winterizing your roof in Canada

Winterizing your roof in Canada

Winter has arrived and in Canada which means some homeowners will face challenges associated with unforgiving weather conditions. The roof, being the first line of defense against snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, requires special attention to ensure it can withstand the harsh elements. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the essential steps for winterizing your roof in Canada, offering detailed insights and tips, particularly tailored for the challenging winter.

Inspect and Repair Roof Damage:

The importance of a meticulous roof inspection cannot be overstated. Begin by examining the overall condition of your roof, paying close attention to any visible damage. Cracked or missing shingles, loose flashing, and compromised seals around vents and chimneys should be promptly addressed. Repairing these issues before winter sets in is critical to preventing further damage caused by the weight of snow and the freezing temperatures.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts:

Gutters and downspouts are vital components of your roofing system, directing water away from your home. Neglecting their maintenance can lead to clogs and ice dams during winter. Before the first snowfall, take the time to clean gutters and downspouts thoroughly. This will ensure proper water drainage and minimize the risk of ice-related problems on your roof.

Install Ice and Water Shield:

For added protection in regions experiencing severe winter conditions, consider installing an ice and water shield beneath your roofing material. This waterproof membrane acts as an additional barrier against ice dams, safeguarding your home from potential water infiltration. This is not always necessary but if you are replacing your roof, you could benefit from an added layer of protection. The experts here at Cambie Roofing can provide a free estimate and can inform you on whether or not this is necessary.

Trim Overhanging Branches:

Overhanging branches laden with snow and ice can pose a threat to your roof during winter storms. Trim branches that extend over your roof to prevent breakage and minimize the risk of damage caused by falling debris.

Insulate Attic and Ventilation:

A well-insulated attic is crucial for maintaining a consistent temperature on your roof. Inadequate insulation can result in heat escaping, leading to uneven melting and the formation of ice dams. Ensure your attic is properly insulated and well-ventilated to regulate temperature and moisture, reducing the likelihood of condensation and mold growth.

Check for Leaks and Seal Gaps:

Leaks and drafts in your attic can contribute to heat loss, exacerbating the risk of ice dams. Conduct a thorough inspection of your attic for any signs of water intrusion. Seal gaps and cracks in the attic floor, walls, and around openings such as vents and chimneys to maintain a tight thermal envelope.

Consider Snow and Ice Removal:

In areas prone to heavy snowfall, consider proactive snow and ice removal from your roof. Using a roof rake or enlisting the services of snow removal professionals can prevent the accumulation of excessive snow, reducing the risk of overloading and potential structural damage.

Contact Cambie for an Inspection

If you’re uncertain about your roofing system’s condition or lack the expertise to perform a comprehensive inspection, the experts at Cambie Roofing have more than 75 years of experience and can offer top of the line advice following a comprehensive inspection. We can identify potential issues and provide expert recommendations to ensure your roof is well-prepared for the challenges of the Canadian winter.

Final thoughts

Winterizing your roof in Canada is a multifaceted task that requires attention to detail and proactive measures to fortify your home against the rigors of winter. By following these extensive tips and recommendations, particularly tailored for the Canadian climate, you can ensure that your roof remains resilient and your home stays protected throughout the winter months. Taking the time to invest in these preventative measures will not only safeguard your property but also contribute to a more comfortable and worry-free winter living experience.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

The importance of roof maintenance

The importance of roof maintenance

There is more to roof maintenance than simply cleaning the gutters. You should pay close attention to your roof especially if it is over 20 years old or exhibiting signs of wear or damage. Thankfully if a roof has a bit of damage then it can be quickly addressed without much expense from an experienced roofing contractor.  It is very important not to ignore small leaks or other water damage as these problems will eventually quickly grow into big, more expensive problems if left unattended. In this article we are going to talk about the importance of roof maintenance, how to clean your roof, the benefits of a clean roof and how to effectively inspect your roof.

Regular roof maintenance is just as important for your home as it is for a person to get a regular physical checkup, especially as age increasingly becomes a factor. Roof maintenance ensures that your home remains strong and is capable of withstanding Vancouver’s heavy rain and harsh weather conditions.

Did you know your roof expands and contracts when the weather temperature changes? As a roof constantly shrinks and expands there is greater chance for cracks to develop and damage shingles. This in turn provides a greater opportunity for water to seep in between the cracks and cause damage to your home.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

Failure to repair roof damage or putting it off will only likely lead to more expensive repairs or even replacement down the road. In addition, failing to fix your roof is a sure way to shorten its lifespan.
But how do you maintain your roof? We have put together some tips to help you prolong the lifespan of your roof and get the most out of it.

How To Clean Your Roof

A homeowner can tell when the outside of their home is dirty and is in need of cleaning. The paint is peeling or there is moss growing on the side. Keeping your roof clean and free of dirt, and grime is not only important for visual attractiveness, but it also extends the life of your roof and increases the resale value. You may only see part of your roof from your lawn and is hard to inspect. However, just like the side of your home, the roof needs to be well maintained and cleaned as a part of regular maintenance schedule.

Because climbing on your roof is dangerous, it’s best to contact a trusted roofing contractor to both clean and inspect the roof for you. Never try to clean or repair your roof yourself. The most common issue with a dirty roof is algae, fungus and moss which can be difficult to get off. While debris can easily collect, it most likely won’t be an issue. However when a living organism takes root on your roof it can damage the integrity of your roof.

Benefits of a Clean Roof

New roofs have great look great and are great if you’re trying to sell your home but what about that same roof, ten or twenty years down the line? Your roof doesn’t look so great and becomes a liability instead of an asset.
A well-maintained roof protects your family from the wind, rain and snow. If you want it to keep doing its job, you’ll need to do regular maintenance on it to ensure that there is no sign of damage. Usually people only inspect their roof after a major wind or snow storm. However, it’s best to have a scheduled six-month inspection to find out any problems before they become major issues.

The important thing to remember is that inspecting a roof needs to be done both from the ground and on top on the roof. You can do the ground inspection, however you should hire a roofing contractor to climb up on the roof and inspect close up. From the ground, you can see look out for general problems or potential dangers and how your roof looks. A roofing contractor, once he or she is on top of the roof, will find details that you cannot see from the ground. There are a couple parts to your roof, such as flashing and shingles, that require closer inspection.

How To Inspect Your Roof

You’ll need to look for signs of cracked or broken singled. Use binoculars to look for damage when you’re inspecting your roof from the ground. Missing shingles are easy enough to find, while rust or moss can sometimes be difficult to detect. Other signs that your roof needs some repairs are if shingles start curling or buckle. These are warning signs that you have a problem and you will most likely have a leak if you don’t get them fixed.

Minor repairs like replacing a shingle or resealing some flashing are small fixes. For major problems like damage to an entire section of roof, it can be a little costlier. Taking on any type of roofing project is dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. Even if it is a small fix, don’t try it yourself.

The presence of invasive organisms like moss, algae, or lichens onto your roof can surprisingly cause a lot of damage. These tiny organisms may seem insignificant and may be easy to ignore but always know what to look out for.
Moss: is a plant that has a shallow root system and requires a lot of moisture to survive. It can thrive on the side of a roof that doesn’t get much sun. In addition moss can cast spores which can easily spread and grow, causing more damage.
Algae: is a type of bacteria that you will find on your roof. It feeds off of both asphalt and limestone in moist and shaded areas, making roofs a prime growing spot. If you’re not carefully, algae will quickly spread and cause trouble.
Lichens: are a type of fungus similar to algae. They form a branching growth of tentacles that penetrate deep into the shingle’s base which can cause cracks and other damage if left untreated.


Cambie Roofing is a professional roofing company that serves the Vancouver area. We work hard to provide the best quality service and our goal is ensuring you are 100 percent satisfied. If your roof is in need of an inspection or a repair, contact us today and we can provide you with a free estimate.

Originally published May 2018,
Updated and republished Oct. 2023.