It's shaping up to be a bad spring for roof damage in Saskatchewan — the so-called ice dam problem.

Record snowfalls are piling up on rooftops and ice dams — big frozen chunks in eavestroughs that can back up melting water on a roof, causing it to drip into interior walls — are already causing a lot of problems for Saskatchewan residents.

SGI said more than 700 claims have come in from across the province since January 2013 — almost seven times the rate in the snowy year 2011.

In 2010, there were only 22 ice dam insurance claims filed with Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

All the figures quoted relate to about the first three months of each year.

Gordon Giles with SGI said he expects more claims to pour in during the spring melt.

Ice dam claims reported to SGI (Jan. 1 to Mar. 25):

  • 2010 — 22
  • 2011 — 111
  • 2012 — 6
  • 2013 — more than 700

"The heavier-than-usual snow load that we've happened to come across this year, plus the freeze and thaw cycles that we've experienced, have all exacerbated the situation," Giles said.

The amount of damage to a roof depends on how well your attic is insulated and ventilated.

"If there is not proper insulation in the attic or the roof is not properly ventilated, what will happen is heat gets trapped in the attic and then sort of absorbs through the shingles onto the roof and will form ice on the roof," Giles said.

SGI recommends people check their insurance policy because not every policy covers ice damming.



  • An earlier version of this story may have left the impression that the numbers reported were for entire years, previous to 2013. The data related to only the first three months of each year. SGI has provided the total number of ice-dam related claims for the full years of 2011 and 2012. There were 210 claims in 2011 and 27 claims in 2012.
    Apr 04, 2013 3:00 AM CT