11 Warning Signs of a Toronto Roof Collapse

Roof collapse Toronto

Toronto winters are great at creating the perfect conditions for a roof collapse.

Winter in Toronto is in full swing (or at least it was, depending on when you are reading this) and bringing with it many unexpected roof related problems (including the dreaded roof collapse) in the process. Heavy snowfall and ice dams this season can contribute to the ultimate homeowner’s nightmare — a potential roof collapse. Structural damage in Toronto homes is quite common due to the fact that many downtown homes are older, with deteriorating foundations and roof structures.

Preventing a roof collapse in Toronto.

A roof collapse is on its way! Cracks in this home’s structure are an easy indication that this roof is headed for big trouble.

In addition, snow can weigh a lot, with dry snow packing in a total of 6-8 pounds per cubic foot, while wet snow can weigh double that! Add in the weight of ice dams and moisture retained in the roof and the load that your roof can safely withstand is quickly surpassed. This is especially true for low pitch and flat roofs, which have no way of shedding this excess weight and are at the greatest risk of buckling under all this excess weight.

As well, many modern renovations in Toronto have taken away integral support beams in the process of creating open concept spaces. Without proper support being re-distributed to the remaining walls, shifting floors and sagging roofs are the result, like this Toronto couple experienced who bought a renovated ‘open concept’ home recently. As a building contractor in Toronto, I’ve been in many homes where the doors and windows don’t close, the floor is at an angle and the home’s foundation is shifting due to faulty renovations. Inexperienced and uneducated contractors are a dime a dozen in this city, available for the lowest bid without a proper license or acceptable level of education.

It’s the same story in the roofing business, where many roofers have no education and are lacking in knowledge of building structure, which contributes to the dangerous and shoddy work being done. Since the city doesn’t regulate who is working on your roof or house, it’s the duty of the homeowner to do their due diligence and check their contractor’s or roofer’s roofing credentials and verify their experience in the field. Unfortunately, this is often neglected in lieu of a high-pressure sales pitch, fancy website that makes all kinds of promises or, most likely, a really low bid. Don’t be fooled and please don’t rush into anything: take your time and make the right choice as you will almost always end up paying more in the long run, anyway.

Snow and ice buildup contribute to a pending roof collapse.

Snow and ice buildup during the winter starts to quickly accumulate without proper maintenance.

What are the signs of a pending roof collapse?

Having a roof collapse can be a nightmare, both financially and personally, so look for the following signs that your house is at risk:

  • Sagging sections of exterior shingles
  • Sagging ceiling
  • Severe or repeated roof leaks
  • Cracks in the exterior masonry or walls
  • Cracks in interior walls or ceiling
  • Bends or ripples in the roof supports
  • Sprinkler heads that have dropped down below ceiling tiles
  • Doors or windows that are difficult to open
  • Doors that pop open on their own
  • Bent or bowed utility pipes or electrical conduits at the ceiling
  • Creaking, cracking or popping sounds coming from the roof

If you are experiencing any of these early warning signs, seek advice from your local Toronto building inspector or Toronto flat and shingle roofer promptly.

Preventative steps to ensure a healthy roof in the winter:

  • Keep drains, gutters, and downspouts clear of ice and debris so that the roof can drain freely
  • Ensure downspouts are the correct length not to freeze at the bottom
  • Do not shovel snow against downspouts
  • DON’T use open flames to ‘melt’ the snow or add weight to the roof with equipment or your weight
  • Better yet, call a roofing contractor to clear snow, icicles and ice off your roof. It’s a dangerous job even for the professionals
  • In the warm months, repair or replace damaged roof shingles before they leak

Yearly roof inspections on your Toronto home by a qualified roofing professional will help you identify any type of roof damage and prevent expensive fixes in the future. Make sure that your roof is in prime shape and can withstand the elements, including Toronto’s heavy snowfall, by having Archer Roofing inspect your roof this spring. Contact us to set up an appointment.


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