Gutters Vary By Construction
Sectional gutters: strips of 10-20 feet of material that are assembled with seams along the strips. This system comes with corner pieces, end caps and drop outlets that connect downspouts.
Seamless gutters: long strips of aluminum, copper, steel or zinc. The sections have joints or mitre cuts at the corners and rolled out and affixed on a home with a machine.
Gutter manufacturers use several different materials to create their products, including:
Components Of A Gutter System
- End caps: stop water from leaving the gutter system prematurely. They are flat pieces of material shaped and attached to a section of the gutter attached to the side of the home.
- Gutter hangers: installed inside the gutter, they act as a brace for the gutter when attached to the home.
- Downspout: is a vertical channel installed on the side of the home that channels water down the side of the house and away from it.
- Downspout bracket: they attach the downspout to the side of the home to provide a secure connection to the pipe to drain water.
- Elbow/boot: the elbow is located at the bottom of the downspout and works to move water away from the home. The boot is a metal section that guides water to an underground pipe and is used in high-traffic areas beyond the downspout.
- Downspout extension: controls water flow and is an add-on to the downspout. It directs water to predetermined areas for drainage.
- Gutter downspout diverter: it diverts rainwater to your rain barrel for collection and helps with gutter drainage.
- Gutter guards: is a filter system that prevents debris from accumulating in your rain gutters. Contact Integrity Roofers for more information on the benefits of gutter guards.
Can You Get Ice Dams With A Metal Roof
Metal roofing can help but is not an ice dam panacea. A metal roof will generally shed snow better, but snow running down the roof will still freeze on the unheated overhangs, creating an ice dam. Metal roofing can be just as susceptible to this as any other roof.
How do I prevent ice dams on my metal roof?
An ice belt, a band of metal roofing, installed at the eaves helps prevent the formation of ices dams by placing a low-friction surface where ice dams are likely to form. If an ice dam does form, an ice belt will reduce the penetration of standing water.
What is the best roof to prevent ice dams? The truth is, the best solution for ice dams is removing the weak point an asphalt shingles roof. It is the design and the way shingles are installed that make them prone to ice dam leaks. Shingles are a water shedding system, which means water runs down the roof, and in that case, shingles work.
Can you put ice and water under metal roof?
Ice & Water shield is also not recommended for use under a metal roof, as it is first not serving its main purpose, since standing seam metal roofs can pretty much stop ice dams in their tracks, without any deck damage, while the much glorified Ice & Water shield can trap moisture, and potentially cause mold and deck
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Heat Loss By Air Leakage
There is another type of convection that transfers heat to the attic space and warms the roof. In the diagram, the winding arrow beginning inside the house and going through the penetration in the ceiling, from the light fixture to the attic space, illustrates heat loss by air leakage. In many homes this is the major mode of heat transfer that leads to the formation of ice dams.
Take Care Of Trees And Branches Overhanging Your Roof
This may not have crossed your mind, but trees that hang over your roof can be a significant factor that causes the ice dams to form on your roof. Tall trees that hang over your house can be great additions during the summer and the hot months as they create shadows and function as a kind of additional insulation, keeping the sun away from your home. But during winter, on the other hand, they can have some negative effects.
The areas on your roof where the trees create shadows will inevitably be cooler than other areas of the roof anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees cooler. When the snow melts and runs down the roof, it will refreeze when it hits these colder spots, forming ice dams on those areas.
Therefore, in order to prevent those cold spots, you should trim your trees and the branches that overhang your roof. This will allow the roof to have an equal and steady temperature throughout, preventing cold spots where melted snow could refreeze.
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How To Protect Gutters From Ice Dams
When you ask a home improvement professional, How do you get rid of ice dams in gutters? be prepared for limited options. Gutter technicians use specially designed steam systems to thaw out badly frozen gutters and downspouts.
Dont hammer on gutters to break up ice, and dont use ice melt products. Both methods can seriously damage gutter structures and materials.
The safest way to clear ice from gutters and downspouts is also the easiest. Simply wait, and let it thaw. Prevention is key, so keep gutters clean, and check them often for signs of clogs. Consider installing gutter covers and downspout screens to keep out winter debris.
What To Do If You Already Have An Ice Dam
Ice dams themselves arent necessarily a problem. Its the leaks that do the bulk of the damage. If you cant detect signs of ice dam leakage, either in the soffits on the outside or in the attic or ceilings, you may not have to do anything. Then during warmer weather, apply the prevention strategies we listed earlier.
If you have leakage from an ice dam and cant rake the snow off the roof, the best way to get rid of the ice dam is to hire a roofing company to steam it off. A steamer is like a pressure washer, except that the water is hot to help with ice dam removal. It melts the ice away without damaging the roofing. Chipping the ice off with a hatchet or an ice pick can break or puncture the shingles.
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Do Metal Roofs Prevent Ice Dams
Metal roofs, whether its standing seam metal or another type, are generally designed in a way that helps prevent ice dams. However, there are several things you should keep in mind. The first is to make sure an ice and water shield is installed. Youll also have to ensure there are adequate levels of insulation and ventilation in your attic. Its also a good idea to have products that can help remove ice from metal roofs.
Ice Dam Prevention: 10 Best Products To Protect Your Roof
Have you noticed large icicles forming along the eaves of your roof? This may be a sign that your roof may be at risk for ice dams and all the associated damage that they bring.
Problems with an ice dam roof can vary greatly: from torn off gutters and falling shingles to peeling paint, ruined flooring and stained ceilings, if the water gets into the house.
Another highly undesirable consequence is wet attic insulation, which will likely loose its R value, and cause serious mold issues.
To avoid all of these potential troubles, it is essential to focus on preventing ice dams.
If you are a DIY inclined homeowner, you can buy and install most of these products yourself, or hire a contractor. However, average ice dams / roof snow removal will set you back at least $750. Prices in Massachusetts during snowmageddon of 2014 went above $1400 for a roof snow removal!
Here are 10 the best, tried and true products that you can use to eliminate or minimize ice dams.
If you have lots of soft fresh snow on the roof, its best to remove it before it melts and subsequently freezes, forming ice dams. One of the most efficient tool to do this is with a snow rake like the Avalanche. Avalanche is easy on the back, and can be used by older homeowners!
Check out how easy it is to use:
The Avalanche is very easy to use, and requires very energy remove large amounts of snow off the roof fast, even for older homeowners.
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What To Do If You Cannot Improve / Fix Ventilation And Insulation Issues
Although it is best to eliminate the source of the problem heat loss and improper ventilation, it is not always a viable option for many homeowners, and another solution is required. As I discussed earlier, heat cables do not work and only increase your energy expenses. The best solution for a sloped roof is to have a Metal Roof installed.
Metal roofs are designed to eliminated all damages associated with ice dams, by preventing the water from traveling upward. Be it a standing seam metal roof or an interlocking shingles system, Ice formations may occur, but the design of the roof will not let the melting water rise and penetrate the roof surface.
In fact, due to their smooth surface, metal roofs shed ice and snow, which comes down like an avalanche. To prevent this snow from damaging things below and falling on someones head, special Snow Guards must be used, which you can see in the image above.
For low slope roofs, we install an IB roofing system, which features hot-air welded seams to prevent water from entering the roof, and is perfect for residential low sloped roofing, as it comes with an asphalt shingle pattern to give it an architectural look and design.
References and Resources:
- Flat Roof repair guide, which includes cost estimates for basic and advanced repairs, as well as what you can expect and how to choose a roofing contractor to fix your roof. Useful information for DIY homeowners, property maintenance personal and business owners.
Why Are Ice Dams So Bad
Ice dams happen when snow on your roof melts due to warm air escaping from inside your home, rising to the top of your attic area. The snow at the top of your roof melts and the water runs down your roof under the snow pack. Once it reaches the overhang area , it re-freezes and becomes an ice dam. The resulting ice dam now blocks further melted snow from running off your roof. Ice builds up in that area, resulting in possible water ingress and damage to your home. Take some time to prevent ice dams on your roof.
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Will A Metal Roof Avoid Ice Dams
I am often asked whether a metal roof can help someone avoid wintertime ice dams and the resulting damage to their roofs and homes. Generally, the answer to that question is yes, but there are several things to keep in mind.
Six Tips for Avoiding Ice Dams with a Metal Roof
How Do Roof Snow Guards Work
During a snowstorm, snow is deposited on rooftops and accumulates, creating what is called a snowpack. As the snow continues to pile on, the roof may be able to keep the snowpack on roof for a time, but as temperatures rise the suns rays will warm the snow and cause the snowpack to loosen. When this happens, gravity plays a role and the entire sheet of snow or ice is suddenly released and an avalanche occurs.
Installing snow guards on a sloped roof hold the ice and snow on the roof and prevent them from sliding off suddenly. The weight of the snow and ice is evenly distributed by the roof snow guards as it melts off and therefore preventing damage. This is not only important for public buildings but for residential properties as well.
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Ways To Prevent Ice Dams On Your Roof
Ice dams are those beautiful but deadly mounds of ice and icicles that you see along the edge of some roofs. We say they are deadly because sheets of ice start to break loose as the weather gets a little warmer, stabbing or crushing anything in its path. They can also cause considerable roof leaks that lead to interior damage. Preventing ice dams is a good idea if you live in our state.
Winter is hitting Lancaster and Chester County full force right now, so protecting your roof from ice dams is an important consideration. To understand the best way to prevent them, understand why they happen in the first place.
How To Prevent Ice Dams On Metal Roofing
November 29, 2019 by Bob Baker
This coming winter, you should prepare for one of the most common issues related to the season: ice dams.
Ice damming is the result of temperature fluctuations during winter. When snow settles on your roof, it will freeze. However, when temperatures rise, the frozen snow will meltbut not completely. As the temperature drops again or the melted snow flows to a part of the roof that is not insulated, it will freeze once more, resulting in an ice dam.
The problem with ice dams is that they can cause melting water to back up and seep into the home. Over time, the water and moisture can damage home components and materials, including the roof itself, walls, ceilings, and others.
Hinkle Roofing, one of the most trusted in the area, shares some tips on how to prevent ice dams if you have a metal roof.
Metal roofs are naturally impervious to water. However, the other materials that compose your roofing system may not be as water-resistant. So, its necessary to take some measures to prevent ice dams even if you have a metal roof.
One of these measures is to ensure sufficient and efficient insulation. In general, attic and ceiling insulation with a rating of R-38 is recommended for homes in colder regions. To be sure what kind of insulation your roof needs, check building codes in your area or better yet, work with a local roofer who knows the codes.
Prevent Energy Leaks
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Various Methods To Prevent Damage From Ice Damming
If youre wondering how to prevent ice dams from forming on the roof, there are a few methods that you can try. You can also ask your local roofer for assistance. If youd like to get rid of ice dams yourself, the methods include:
- Seal any air leaks Your attic might have little holes in the ceiling, causing the warm air to escape and melt the snow. Using weather stripping, youll want to locate and seal as many holes as you can find.
- Properly insulate your attic Most homes that have to deal with snow throughout the winter should have a level of attic insulation thats equivalent to R 49 value. Since many older homes are not properly insulated, you might have to add another level of insulation in your home.
- Ensure that theres adequate ventilation in the attic Once the attic is properly sealed and insulated, youll have to make sure theres enough ventilation. First, check your roof to see if the soffit vents have been installed. If not, you might need to have gable vents installed as an alternative.
Using these methods can help prevent buildup on metal roofs, asphalt shingle roofs, and other types of roofs.
How Do You Keep Snow From Sliding Off A Metal Roof
Installing metal roof ice guards on metal roofs is the best way to ensure an avalanche does not occur after snow or icy conditions. This is particularly important in places where heavy snowfall occurs during winters.
One of the challenges with installing snow guards on metal roofs is that most metal roof systems allow the metal panes to float freely above the underlying roof deck off raining. This is done so that the metal panes can expand and contract at a different rate than the underlying structure beneath them. So if you attach a snow guard onto a metal roof by driving fasteners through the metal panels, they will lose their ability to float and will allow for leaks to develop.
Its important when installing metal roof snow guards to use non-penetrating adhesive metal roof snow stoppers, where polycarbonate cleats are applied to the metal panels using a peel-and-stick adhesive rather than drilling in metal fasteners. When this is done correctly, the cleats will stop snowpacks from breaking apart suddenly and falling to the ground.
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