Attic furnace and ice dams

Jennifer Moore
We are dealing with ice dams in our asphalt covered roof that no amount of adding insulation is helping due to fact that heat is being made in the attic due to gas furnace located there. How do metal roofing companies/installers address a bad ice dam issue when installing their roofs to make sure we fix the problem? We have added batts and batts of insulation to floor of attic and added additional around ducts coming from furnace. Did not work so I feel we need to do something major. What I don't want to do is spend $15-20K and still not have found the cure. There are 6 square vent "holes" on back side of roof presently up near top of roof. The underside of soffits are solid wood and there are no end vents in walls [brick house built in 1930. Attic furnace added several years ago when basement finished to make a split system] Thanks Jenny Moore
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
Jenny, Sorry to see that you are dealing with this. Can you post up a picture of the home? What is the current attic ventilation? Based on the description, the roof requires some venting retrofit (i.e. open up the soffits and use a ridge vent). As it pertains to your original question, the answer depends on the system. Ventilation is part of any proper roof workscope regardless of the metal roof type/system. Furnaces and HVAC in general are terrible ideas for attics but a by product of the "intelligent" use of space. I didn't hear any mention of air sealing along with the insulation approach. Have the duct connections been sealed? Are they flex lines or rigid? In terms of resistance to ice dams, standing seam is probably going to be your best bet and if the situation necessitates it, you could even incorporate and over deck vent style of roof venting.

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