Daniel Rizzolo
9/18/2009
I recently moved into a new home with a metal roof. The previous owners heated mainly with an oil stove, however, last winter I heated primarily using the woodstove. Heat loss through the stove pipe melted snow on the metal roof throughout the winter and caused an ice dam on the roof down slope from the stove pipe. By spring the ice dam was quite large (but only located just below the stove pipe) and as it slid off the roof it damaged the gutter. My question is: would installation of snow guards either help prevent the formation of the ice dam, reduce the size of the ice dam, or prevent it from sliding off as one large glacier which is what damaged the gutter? Any input on this problem would be much appreciated. All the best, DJR
Ken Buchinger
NCI Building Systems, Inc.
9/18/2009
Adding snow guards will only help prevent the ice from sliding off. It will not affect ice dam formation. Normally we suggest a well ventilated attic space to provide for a "cold roof" but I don't believe this will help your situation. You might try heat tracer cables only in the area directly below the stove pipe to the eave.
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