do metal roofs help with ice dams?

Cheryl Dinger
7/24/2011
We have a vaulted wood ceiling over our family room/kitchen. It does not have an attic or trusses above. Most every winter we have huge ice dams. Would a metal/steel roof help with this? What is the best way to insulate the roof on the outside before putting on the steel roof? Are there homes in MN that have metal roofs over 10 years? Do they hold up? Is there problems with condensation? rusting? Are they allowed in every city? Who has the most experience in installing them? Where can the product be purchased if we want to do it ourselves? Will it help to reduce heating costs in the winter and AC in the summer? Cher from Minnesota
Todd Miller
Classic Products, Inc.
7/25/2011
Thank you for your questions. There are lots and lots of metal roofs of all ages in MN. It has proven to be an area where they are very beneficial. I am not aware of any city codes against them though there could be some instances of local neighborhoods not yet understanding metal roofing. As far as insulating ... that would be best determined once you know exactly what roof you are installing. You do have a situation where insulation and ventilation could help both with ice damming and with condensation. Metal roofing can help with ice damming but it is not a cure all. usually insulation and ventilation are the answers to that problem. You can find dealers and distributors in your area through the Find A Contractor section of this website. Light colored or reflective pigment coatings can help with summer efficiency. Adding ventilation will also help.
Info @windowsonwashington.net
An informed customer is our best customer.
7/25/2011
Metal roof are more resistant to ice damning but not impervious. The source of the ice damning (heat and warm air loss) must first be addressed. In your case, this requires air sealing and adding a supplemental insulation layer to control heat and warm air loss along with some added over deck ventilation. I would cover the entire roof deck with ice and water shield for proper air seal, insulate with a rigid foam, add an air gap for above deck ventilation and that would be the end of your ice damning issue.
Guest User
9/25/2011
What about homes that get a lot of sun exposure? I live in the North East and we are considering a metal roof. As the sun starts to melt the snow, it drains off the roof. As the sun sets, the water freezes and forms ice dams. Will a metal roof help with this situation?
Todd Miller
Classic Products, Inc.
9/25/2011
There are instances where the slippery and reflective surface of a metal roof can encourage snow to melt and slide. However ice damming is usually the result of heat inside the home escaping through the roof.

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