Quebecers are being warned to clear their roofs of snow and ice buildup or risk damage to their property.

Sylvain Lamothe, spokesperson for the Régie du bâtiment — the province's authority set up to ensure the proper construction of buildings — said the recent period of snowfall followed by rain and ice rain is weighing on roofs more than other winter conditions would.

"Not all snow is created equal," he said.

He recommends that homeowners hire contractors who are experienced in clearing roofs and have the equipment to do it safely.

Signs to watch out for

But just because Quebec has seen some extreme weather in the past few weeks, it doesn't mean people are in danger of their roofs collapsing.

"We can't be alarmist. The structures, the roofs, are made to resist the weather, the snow, the [freezing] rain, the rain," Lamothe said.

But he still recommends that homeowners get buildup cleared rather than wait for problems with their property. 

He said there are signs to watch out for if you're worried that the roof may not be handling the buildup well. 

Some of them are:

  • Cracks on walls inside the home.
  • Doors rubbing against their frame.
  • Deformation of ceilings. 

The régie is also advising that people keep their temporary car shelters clear of buildup, or they risk collapsing.  

In Montreal, the forecast calls for up to 15 millimetres of rain Friday, turning into snow in the evening with 10 centimetres expected to fall. The snow will continue Saturday, with another possible 10 centimetres falling.