Metal roof and sliding snow


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Old 02-26-10, 06:31 AM
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Metal roof and sliding snow

I have an 1800's farm house that has standing seam metal roofing with snow birds on every seam. As far as I know, the home never had gutters and downspouts. Two years ago we installed them. It helped greatly in controlling water run off.

Now, with the large amount of snow we have had this winter the gutters have been ripped off the home. It looked like as the snow that was against the roof melted the water ran to the gutter and re-froze - the typical ice dam. After a day or so of this then the two feet of snow started the slow but steady slide down the roof and up against the ice dammed gutters. The process continued until the pressure of the snow ripped the gutter (and fascia board in a couple of cases) off the house.

As I have this repaired, does anyone have some ideas about what could be done to prevent this from happening again? Different kind of gutter, install gutter differently? Any and all thoughts appreciated.
 
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Old 02-26-10, 09:12 AM
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Hi mchild, I live where "lots of snow" is a common problem. And it is funny you posted as I was just trying to decide how I could install gutters that I can remove each winter. Most of the home here in the north simply go without, for exactly the reasons you stated. The only homes that have success are the very old with the nice decorative wood gutters or the very new with absolutely no snow melt. The solution on the old homes 1900 vintage, no insulation. The snow melts very rapidly and there is never anything left to form ice dams or slide off and damage the gutters.

The message is, no one up here has a solution other than removing the snow. Hopefully not melting it, but shoveling it off. I'll be redoing my fascia and extending my roof a bit this summer and want gutters, at least for part of the year. So removable will be my fix.

Good luck
Bud
 
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Old 02-26-10, 10:35 AM
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When skiing in Utah I saw many houses with heating wires installed inside the gutters, downspouts and zig zagged about 2' up the roof around the bottom edge. The heating wire was controlled by a switch & thermostat so it could be turned on as needed, and only during cold weather to prevent ice daming.
 
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Old 02-26-10, 01:25 PM
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Gutter Helmet, the cover that goes over the top of the gutter opening and the water flows over and around the outer edge into the gutter, states that they work great in heavy snow areas as the snow and ice can't build up in the gutter. As the snow melts and slides down the roof it slides over the gutter.

I was wondering if anyone has had experience with those and whether they work as advertised.
 
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Old 02-26-10, 02:03 PM
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I took a look at the product and it seems to be more related to keeping the leaves and debris out of your gutters. Under their description about snow and ice dams they even point out that the correct solution is more insulation and ventilation to eliminate the conditions that create the melting and subsequent ice dams.

No first hand experience, haven't used them or seen them. And since I'm in snow country, maybe that says something.

I recently sold my commercial building, but water dripping from the metal roof was a problem. But when the snow unloaded, a traditional light weight gutter wouldn't stand a chance. I never got to it, but considered "U" channel or angle iron. Basically I just wanted to catch the water until the snow decided to come down on it's own, which it would do with amazing thunder.

As for Pilots suggestion for heat wires, I had considered them, but they would make any snow removal more difficult and sometimes it is necessary.

Bud
 
 

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