Steel Roof ice build up, what can be done?

Guest User
6/9/2004
I have the first winter with my new steel roof. There was excessive ice build up in my opinion. My rooing company rep says it's normal. See pics at http://offen-online.com/ice_dams/Thumbnails.html The "salesman" was told of the leaking inside due to ice buildup on the old shingle roof. I was concerned at the time that ice build up would be a problem with the new steel roof. The salesman said the installers would put new vents at the top rodge and open up the venting at the soffit. It was written into the contract. The installer did open some of the soffit areas, but in my opinion he did not open enough for poper ventilation. Now the roof is sealed and working on the ventilation means taking soffit and facia down and opening the roof edges enough so ice doesn't build up excessively. The roofer was supposed to do this according to the hand written note on the contract. The representative says it's notmal and just use a roof rake or put up dams. I don't want ugly dams nor do I want to roof rake for the next 50 years. I spent $1600 on a 2 day job installation that was supposed to eliminate this problem. The leaks are gone, but from the run-off of ice along the outside siding, I would wager this ice dam problem will lead to inside water damage sooner rather than later. What can be done now that the roof is in fact "sealed" for 50 years? Who should pay? Thanks for any input.
Guest User
6/10/2004
A lot of this seems to come down to contractual agreements between you and the contractor and, as such, gets into things on which I really cannot render an opinion. From a more practical standpoint, I am curious, though, as to whether there is a ridge vent on the roof. Soffit vents provide intake but they alone do not provide good circulation along the bottom of the roof deck without a ridge ven. Your photos show the snow but they do not show me a lot about the roof geometry or actual construction. Also, I would encourage you to bring these concerns to the company that manufactured your roof as well. I am not quite sure I understand your reference to the roof being "sealed." Unless I am missing something, it should be possible to add additional soffit vents if necessary and a ridge vent. All that said, I will say that there can be certain wweather conditions when ice damming is all but unavoidable. Typically that occures when you have a lot of snow load and the temperatures stay very cold and the sun doesn't shine for an extended period of time. A properly constructed attic and roof system will help but still there can be situations where ice damming is all but unavoidable. One goal of metal roofing, of course, is to also avoid interior damages due to ice damming. Ideally, this would include protection against wall damage although if all the damage is occurring from the outside, that can be hard to control as well. Not knowing where you live, I do not know whjat all weather conditions you typically endure. This may be a case, though, where heat tape on the roof as well as in the gutters and downspouts could be helpful. I hope I have helped in some small way.
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