Selecting Best Type of roofing for roof prone to dangerous icicles

We currently have a conventional asphalt shingled roof and are trying to decide whether to replace it with a granular coated or smooth metal roof. We live in wintery Ontario, Canada in a beautiful 1920's baloon construction house which currently has little insulation. We have a south facing roof (12' x 12' pitch) with no gutters. We have a finished attic that is poorly insulated and is only occassionaly used in the winter. Due to the poor insulation, our current roof holds little snow, but is prone to forming dangerous icicles that hang over our driveway and have totalled a car of a previous owner. We have experimented with a metal heating wire but it was ineffective. The icicles only growing at the bottom of each ziz zag of wire. We are very concerned that what every product we select we do not worsen the icicle situation. We are also equally concerned that when we do manage to insulate the attic we do not create a serious snow sluffing/ avalanche situation. The contractor tells us that the granular coated metal roofing will not shed snow. However, we like the appearance of the smooth metal roofing mutch more. We are concerned that given our particular situation the "snow retention" systems would not be adequate. We would appreciate any advice you can give us. Carolyn & Don Asquin
Todd Miller
Classic Products, Inc.
9/20/2006
The big issue here is ventilation -- lack thereof. You want to have the attic floor be well insulated and then the attic be well vented. Shedding the snow quickly, from the entire roof, will lessen the possibility of ice damming and the resulting icicles. For that reason, it would make sense to have a roof that will shed snow quickly. Snow guards in my opinion serve the purpose of breaking up the snowload so it falls in chunks rather than as an avalanche. Snowbars can retain snow which I do not think is necessarily always a good idea. Does the roof surface have much to do with this? Maybe not so much as whether you have a vertical seam roof or a horizontal roof. The horizontal panels tend to prevent avalanching better than vertical seam though certainly not entirely.
Guest User
9/20/2006
This is a wonderful service. Thanks for the prompt reply. I just need a little clarification about vertical seam roof vs a horizontal roof. We definitely do not want a vertical seam roof. What do you mean by a horizontal roof? We were looking at a "tile" or "shingle" style of roofing. Carolyn
Todd Miller
Classic Products, Inc.
9/20/2006
Vertical seam refer to any sort of system where there are no horizontal lines to the system. The tile, shake, and shingle products have a horizontal line to them. All best.
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