Roofing in Calgary: How to prevent ice dams

Glistening icicles hanging from a roof amongst the snowy scenery might look quaint and picturesque, but the icicles could be more hazardous to you and your home than you might realize. Ice dams can cause a great deal of damage to your roof, and the walls of a home can impact the insulation and ceiling of the home’s exterior and can even cause mould to appear around the exterior and interior of a house. It can be expensive to repair the damages caused by ice dams, and roofing Calgary professionals will have to be contacted in some cases to undertake the repairs for you.

To avoid paying out of pocket for damages that can be circumvented, learn about the preventive measures you can take so you don’t have to worry about ice dams in winter.

What is an ice dam?

When winter comes and a constant cycle of freezing and thawing starts, that is when ice dams begin to form. When a layer of snow arrives on your roof, it begins to warm the air within the attic below. A warmed attic begins to thaw the snow, and the melted snow drifts down to the edges of the roof. When the snow now located at the edges of the roof cannot drain properly, it will begin to freeze, and thus, ice dams are formed. 

How do ice dams affect the roof and home?

As the constant freezing and thawing cycle continues throughout the winter, the ice dams will begin to spread upward on the roof. Water from the ice dams will make its way into shingles on the roof, eventually seeping into the home’s interior. Once the water leaks into the home, it can ruin any insulation that is installed, causing ice dams to grow because warm air will begin to rise to the attic. According to Canadian insurance companies like SGI Canada, ice dams can cause water to enter the home where mould can grow accessible. Water damage can also begin to impact the structural integrity of a house due to ice dams. 

Cleaning gutters

When the snow and ice melt, it tends to go into the gutters where ice dams are usually formed. Ice dams are more likely to formulate in gutters that are filled with leaves and debris, where the thawed snow and ice cannot be drained properly. To prevent this from happening, clean your gutters during the fall to ensure nothing is obstructing them and when winter arrives, break off the icicles that may surround the gutters. 

Gutter ice dams on the roof of a house during a warm day of winter

Raking off the snow load

Snow gathering on the roof that is bound to melt will contribute to ice dams forming. Make sure snow that piles on the roof is kept to a minimum by using tools, like a roof rake, to get the snow off the top of your home. This can prove dangerous, and hiring a professional to do it for you is the safest route. 

Insulated attic

The attic should be well insulated and ventilated to reduce the risk of ice dams wreaking havoc on your home. Installing quality insulation and ventilation into the attic portion of the house will ensure that the heat will stay confined in your home without drifting up into the attic, causing snow to melt and ice dams to likely form. Contact roofing Calgary companies for efficient and prompt installation before the winter to install a ventilation system and insulation. 

City Roofing & Exteriors consistently takes pride in serving Calgarians. At City Roofing, we understand the importance of customer satisfaction. We put safety, quality work and on time delivery as our top priority. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet their budget and needs. We offer completed roofing services in Calgary and area on both residential and commercial projects. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work and recommend City Roofing as your roofing consultant and contractor. Give us a call at 403-608-9933 or send an email to [email protected].

Cladding, which is often referred to as siding, is an integral part of protecting your home from the elements. It endures Canadian snow and hailstorms, while also keeping out little critters. 

While it’s important to choose a cladding that will best benefit your home, it’s only natural that you want to be mindful of the budget in the process.

We explore some cladding options and whether they’ll be cost-effective in the long run.

Determining the Most Cost-Effective Cladding


Nowadays, vinyl is one of the most popular choices when selecting siding in Calgary. It is known for being affordable, durable, and relatively low-maintenance, which is appealing to homeowners. There are also several options when it comes to colour and style, allowing you to customize the vinyl to best suit your home’s aesthetic.

Vinyl is a fairly cost-effective cladding option. Not only is it one of the most affordable claddings to choose from, but it can last up to 50 years, provided you take the time to maintain it.

Additionally, it’s relatively simple to replace sections of the vinyl in the event of damage. 


Brick is never a poor choice when it comes to selecting your cladding. Brick is a timeless look and can last a lifetime with minimal effort. Additionally, there are several colours to choose from when picking brick, so you can customize the appearance of your home without having to worry about any paint fading.

Low angle view of corrugated iron roof, copy space

It must be noted that brick is at least double the cost of vinyl, and can easily be multiplied several times over. However, the longevity of the brick must be considered before deciding against this cladding. While it will have a greater up-front cost, you won’t have to worry about replacing your cladding.


Stone cladding can be offered as real stone or a stone veneer. The lifespan of real stone cladding is impressive, while boasting a relatively simple maintenance schedule. It also creates a more nature-based finish, which can be appealing to homeowners.

Stone cladding has some real benefits, but its drawbacks cannot be ignored. It is one of the most expensive cladding options available. As well, if installed incorrectly, it can crack, leading to moisture buildup and costly and difficult repairs.


Metal cladding can be an attractive option as it is essentially bug-proof and fire-resistant, while also being easy to maintain. There are several metal options available, and most are relatively durable. However, in the event that the cladding is damaged, it will be more tricky to replace.

The cost of metal cladding is in the same ballpark as brick cladding. 

Ultimately, there is no wrong choice when it comes to cladding. Reputable Calgary contractors understand that siding needs to withstand Canadian weather conditions, so they will not provide subpar options. Don’t hesitate to speak with a professional when deciding which cladding is most cost-effective for you.

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and by serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work. Give us a call at (403) 608-9933 or email us at [email protected].

The terms “eavestrough” and “gutter” are often used interchangeably in reference to the home. This is understandable, as they both serve a similar function, working to prevent water from gathering around the house. 

However, there are distinctions between the two. Let’s take a look.

Understanding the Difference Between Eavestroughs and Gutters


Whether you are calling them eavestroughs or gutters, odds are, you’re referring to the draining system on your home.

Eavestroughs are exactly as their name suggests: troughs under the eaves of the home. They collect rainwater, melted snow, and any other precipitation that accumulates on your roof before depositing it down the drain spout.

You are likely more familiar with eavestroughs, as they are part of your property. Eavestroughs are what you clean a few times a year, removing leaves and other debris, to allow for the water flow to remain uninterrupted.

Eavestroughs are integral parts of your home. They ensure water moves away from the house, preventing water damage to the roof, attic, and siding.


Eavestroughs can be argued to be a type of gutter, thus the name confusion. However, gutters are not eavestroughs.

Gutters are a more generic term and are essentially any repository for runoff water. 

Roof gutter repair. Guttering repair. Roofer contractor repair house rain gutter pipeline.

Typically, when referring to gutters, one is talking about the dip in the curb of the road. After a particularly big rainstorm or when the snow begins to melt in spring, you’ll notice a stream of water making its way along the curb into the storm drain. This area where the water is being funnelled is the gutter.

Region of North America

The country you’re in may influence which term you are more familiar with. Canadians tend to use “eavestrough” while Americans will more often use “gutter”.

While neither is technically incorrect, as gutters do move water away from the home, eavestroughs are technically the correct term. 

However, as the two are used interchangeably, you will still be understood by others no matter how you identify your roofing system.

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and by serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work. Give us a call at (403) 608-9933 or email us at [email protected].

It may not be the most exciting household chore, but regularly cleaning your eavestroughs is a vital aspect of maintaining your home.

Fortunately, this task is fairly straightforward with few steps.

We break down the steps below and why cleaning your eavestroughs is so important.

Cleaning Your Eavestroughs

Why is it important?

A well-working eavestrough acts like a slide, bringing rainwater and melted snow to the downspout, which then deposits the water away from your home. 

However, a clogged eavestrough impedes the flow of water, and the water will find a different way to escape. This can lead to leaky roofs, interior or exterior water damage, mould, or damp basements.

Additionally, the bed of leaves in your eavestroughs makes for an inviting place to nest for small animals.

At the very minimum, ignoring your eavestroughs will necessitate gutter repair.

How do you clean your eavestroughs?

Step 1

Place your ladder under the eavestrough and close to the downspout. You will be starting at the spout and working your way out.

Step 2

Handful by handful, grab debris from the eavestroughs and place it in a bin or bucket that you’re able to hold at the top of the ladder with you.

man on ladder cleaning house gutter from leaves and dirt

It is recommended that you tackle this chore when the debris in the eavestroughs is dry. This will make the job easier.

Step 3

Once you have removed as much debris as possible from the eavestroughs, grab your garden hose. Ideally, your hose will have a spray nozzle, as you will be using the water pressure to flush out your eavestroughs.

You will be working in the opposite direction as you were while gathering the debris. Start at the furthest point from the downspout and make your way towards it.

If you notice the water is not flowing freely down the downspout, it may be blocked. To unclog it, try spraying the garden hose up the downspout or use a plumber’s snake.

For regular maintenance, it’s recommended that you clean your eavestroughs twice a year- once in the spring and once in the fall. 

If you notice that you require gutter repair during your cleaning, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for further advice or assistance.

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and by serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work, give us a call at (403) 608-9933 or email us at [email protected].

Your gutter is one of the most important parts of your roof. It diverts water off your roof to prevent water damage. If your gutter is broken, you’ll want to get it repaired as soon as possible. But how much will it cost for gutter repairs or replacement in the Calgary area? Here are the factors to consider.

What Material Do You Want?

When it comes to gutter repairs in Calgary, you can choose from vinyl, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper. Vinyl is the most common and affordable at $3 to $5 per foot but it cracks over time and in extreme temperatures. Aluminum is the second least expensive material at $5 to $8 per foot. It is more resistant than vinyl and can also withstand extreme temperatures better than vinyl.

Gutter repairs calgary

The next on the list is stainless steel at $10 to $20 per foot. If you want your gutter to retain its shine and be more sturdy than aluminum, stainless steel is your go-to. Just remember that it starts to get expensive here. The most expensive on the list is copper at $30 to $35 per foot. The only reason you’d want copper gutters is for its aesthetic appeal.

How Much Area Do You Have to Cover?

Another factor that affects the cost of gutter repairs in Calgary is the area that needs to be covered. Obviously, bigger homes will have larger roofs. This means that you will need to take a rough measurement of the roof perimeter to get an approximate price. Simply choose the material you want to use and multiply it by the roof’s perimeter.

The Average Costs for Gutter Repairs in Calgary

But just what are Calgary homeowners paying for their gutters? The average cost will range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 based on various factors. The pricing includes the contractor’s labor as well. Extras that will add to the cost include downspouts and gutter cover installation. If your gutters are sectional and you need minor repairs rather than replacement, you’ll end up paying anywhere from $300 to $600.

Overall, the costs of replacing or repairing your gutter are low compared to the costs associated with repairing your roof. Prices will also depend on the contractor’s rate, so you will definitely want to get quotes. The important thing here is to make sure you get your gutter repaired or replaced before water damage starts to set in.

At City Roofing and Exteriors, we take pride in our work and by serving Calgarians. We work hard to assist our customers in providing proper roofing systems to meet your budget and needs. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our work, give us a call at (403) 608-9933 or email us at [email protected].