Spring THAW & ICE Damming

As the weather warms in Calgary with the coming of Spring, one issue that many home owners have to deal with at this time of year Ice Damming.



Ice damming is a ridge of ice that can be formed at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow which has accumulated over the winter  from draining off the roof. Unfortunately, the temperatures don’t tend to stay high consistently. Often the temperatures will drop down to below freezing once night falls. This will cause whatever liquid has formed during the day to refreeze at night in the gutters and on the lower edge of the roof. This can create ice blockages that prevent moisture from draining properly and that will continue to build up over time resulting in Ice Damming.


In addition to added weight and falling icicles the water that backs up behind the dam can freeze beneath shingles or along weak seams, seep its way into the decking of your roof and causing rot or moisture damage to your roofing or insulation or further damage to the building. Signs of this moisture may be seen in attic or on ceilings and walls of interior  rooms * see mold warnings at end of the article.

Preventative Measure

There are a number of ways to address ice damming – some interior, others exterior. All have associated costs, advantages and disadvantages. We recommend that if you are experiencing trouble with an ice dam – or suspect you see the symptoms of one – that you consult a qualified trades person as required.

Possible remedies: 


  • Ensure the ceiling in rooms that are below the attic are air tight so  warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space.
  • Upgrade attic insulation and/or ensure there aren’t areas where the insulation may be patchy. This will help regulate the attic temperature and will reduce likelihood of ice damming.
  • Ensure that vents aren’t clogged and there is sufficient soffit venting to allow  venting the attic.

Keep in mind: Recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will  increase the risk of ice dam formation.

Employ a qualified professional to diagnose whether there is  sufficient attic venting  through the roof and any vents that are in place are  being vented directly into the attic.  This deficiency happens more than one would expect!


  • Removing snow from accumulating on the roof will certainly help – particularly with low-sloped roofs.
  • In some cases, adding a water tight membrane to the roof deck can help. The homeowner can  consult a qualified roofer for more information.


Moisture entering the home from ice damming can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These biologicals can cause respiratory problems. It is important that the growth of mold and mildew be prevented. This can be done by immediately drying out portions of the house that are wet or damp and employing the use of a qualified mold remediator if necessary.

RELAX  … let us do the work! 

Give us a call / text 403-714-9294 or email us. We’d love to hear from you. 




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