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Spring Maintenance - Snow & Ice

It looks as though spring has finally arrived after a long, cold, snowy winter. This winter has been one of the most difficult winters on record, with both cold temperatures and snowfall hitting record levels.

Excessive snow on and around our homes can create all sorts of problems, and we urge you to ensure the following maintenance items are completed.


In order to maintain safe and efficient operation of the furnace and HRV, ensure snow and vegetation do not cover or impede the flow of air through either the air intakes or exhaust vents. Shovel snow away from all intakes and vents after each snowfall. This includes intakes and vents for your furnace, HRV, fireplace, hood fan, etc.


It is essential that roof vents are kept clear of snow to allow proper ventilation from the attic. Snow build up on top of the roof vents will prevent the ventilation of warm humid air from the attic, and contribute towards the formation of ice dams and frost build up in the attic. Keep vents clear of excessive snow.


Clear excess snow and ice from downspouts as soon as possible to allow the eavestrough to drain and to prevent damage. Severe ice or snow build-up can damage eavestroughs and downspouts, and such damage is not covered by our warranty.


Manitoba experiences heavy snow and drastic changes in temperature during the winter & spring. These conditions contribute to the formation of ice dams on roofs.

Ice damming occurs when snow or ice on the upper portion of a roof melts, flows down the roof and then freezes on the lower edge of the roof. Normally the water runs harmlessly off the edge of the roof. Any restriction that traps ice or snow near the eve of a roof, however, can impede the flow of water and promote ice damming. If the resulting ice dam is sufficiently large, it can allow water to back up under the shingles and result in water penetration of the roof.

Ice damming is a common occurrence in our climate and cannot be completely prevented. Limited damming is not a cause for concern. Water penetration due to ice damming is not covered under warranty.

Prevent ice dams from forming by ensuring the attic vents are kept free of snow and do not allow excessive snow to build up in the valleys and eaves. Hire a professional roofing contractor to remove snow from your roof. Install heat trace cables, if necessary. Periodically check for loose or lifted shingles after severe windstorms. Also check for snow blown into attic after winter snowstorms and have it removed.


The grading around the house is designed to drain water away from the foundation walls. The drainage pattern of each individual lot is part of a site-grading plan established for the entire development. Minor changes may be made during construction to facilitate particular lot conditions.

During the spring thaw, remove snow and ice in order to assist the flow of water. Swales and catch basins are designed to drain water away under normal rainfall conditions. Heavy, prolonged rainfalls or spring thaw conditions may cause some water ponding for short periods of time. This is normal. Do not change the grading on your lot as this could affect not only your lot drainage but that of neighboring lots as well.


Salt or other ice melting products can easily damage concrete surfaces including driveways, steps, and garage floors. Even if not applied directly, slush and melting ice from cars and foot traffic will deposit enough salt to cause damage. The frequent freeze/thaw cycles during spring & fall allow the effects of the salt to work more rapidly. Slush and snow from your vehicle should not be allowed to melt on the concrete.

Chipping and scraping ice from the floor, even for safety reasons, can also damage the concrete surface. A very small chip in the concrete allows water to penetrate. When combined with the freeze/thaw cycle, pitting and spalling can occur. This type of erosion is a homeowner responsibility and is not covered under warranty.

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