Four Ways To Mitigate Snow And Ice Build Up On Metal Roofs

Although ice dams are not as big of an issue on metal roofs when compared to asphalt shingles, they can still happen. Ice and snow buildup can result in damage, particularly along the eaves of a metal roof. The snow can also lead to icicles, which can pose a danger if they fall on things or people below.

1. Minimize Valleys

Ice dams and compressed snow are more likely to collect in the valleys of a metal roof. The valleys are also more prone to water leaks since the compressed snow and ice can get under the flashing that seals the valley seam. If you are designing a home or new roof, avoid those designs that have a lot of low valleys or low slopes. Snow and ice tend to slide off steeply pitched roofs the most, which is why A-frame style homes with steeply pitched roofs are most common in mountain areas and other locations prone to heavy snowfall.

2. Install Heat Cables

Heat cables are commonly used on metal roofs to prevent ice and snow from collecting. They can be installed along the edges of the roof, where damage is most likely to occur, as well as in valleys and other areas prone to snow collection. There are two types of cables. The first type is installed on the surface of the roof. These are visible, so they are most often used only if you decide to install heat cables after the roof has been installed. Subsurface cables are installed underneath the roofing, so they are invisible and protected from the elements. The cables come on automatically when temperatures drop below a certain point, and they heat up only enough to speed snow and ice melt.

3. Improve Insulation

Another cause of snow and ice issues on a metal roof is poor insulation underneath the roof. There are two ways to deal with this. The first is at the time of roof installation. Simply opt to have insulated metal roof panels installed instead of the uninsulated variety. The other solution is to increase the amount of insulation in your attic. By better insulating the roof, you prevent ice dam formation along the eaves and valleys.

4. Decrease Resistance

An ice belt is a strip of super slick metal that is installed along the bottom few inches of the roof. This metal is slicker than the rest of the roofing panel, so snow and ice more easily slide off. An ice belt helps prevent both the formation of ice dams and icicles along the drip edge of your metal roof.

Contact a roofing service for more help with any ice issues on your roof, or for more information about metal roofing.