Benefits of Installing a Metal Roof for Ice Dam Prevention

ice dam prevention and solutions

During the winter, people look for ways to warm up their houses to bear the cold weather. Some light fires in the fireplace, while others use room heaters. Cooking may also warm up a room. But, as the science indicates, heated air rises. Have you ever wondered where the warm air escapes to?


How Ice Dams Form


ice dams on roof usa

Without proper ventilation, warm air from inside your house rises to the roof, warms it up, and melts the snow resting on it. The melted water flows under the snow and rests on the overhang. Here, it refreezes because this area has no access to warm air. The newly frozen water becomes a barrier that prevents the flow of other waters melted off the roof above. The result is a buildup of ice called an ice dam.


As temperatures change, water continues to melt and seep through your roof, potentially damaging it and other structures underneath.

Secure your roof and property from possible damage. As roofing experts, we advise that you get a metal roof, not shingles.


How a Metal Roof Helps to Prevent Ice Dams


ice dams heat cable

The principle behind choosing metal roofing over shingles is that metal is a better conductor of heat than the asphalt shingles commonly used for construction. Metal helps to match the temperature of the attic with the temperatures outside.


Supposedly, if the roof warms up due to the warmth and moisture inside the house, with metal being a good conductor of heat, the entire roof warms up rather than just a section of it. So, if the ice were to melt, it would melt all across the metal roof, not just one part. The ice water would flow down the roof, or the snow would slide off the roof. This would prevent the formation of an ice dam.


But, it’s difficult for the inside temperatures to heat the roof significantly because the winter temperatures are so low. The metal roof is less likely to warm up, which keeps the ice from melting, and the ice dams from forming in the first place. Besides getting a metal roof, it’s also important to maintain a stable temperature of the roof, preventing the unnecessary melting of ice. 


Seal any openings that could leak air from your living space into the attic. Also, ensure that the attic floor insulation is also well done and that the attic itself has some ventilation.

Install a Metal Roof Over Shingles


metal roof over shingle installation

If your house has a shingle roof, you’ve likely experienced the effects of ice dams on occasion. But, you can correct the problem by changing your roofing. Provided the building codes in your area allow it, you can call a professional to install metal roofing, even without taking out the shingles.


Tearing off the entire shingle roof and installing a metal roof entirely would be the better way to do it. But, it would lengthen the process and increase your costs. But, if you are constructing a new house, avoid the extra spending by getting a metal roof rather than having to change a shingle roof later.


The one drawback of having two roofs, by placing a metal roof over shingles, is that space between the new metal roof and the asphalt shingle roof is likely to trap moist air. The buildup of moisture encourages the growth of mold and rotting of the shingle roof. To resolve this, Hotedge uses furring strips when installing the new metal roof to raise the metal, creating ventilation pockets that allow the air to flow out. There is also the option of installing a vented metal roof that eliminates moisture and hot air.


The Benefits of Metal Roofing Over Shingles Roofing


  • It prevents the formation of ice dams


By installing a metal roof that sheds the snow naturally, you avoid the formation of ice dams on your roof. A metal roof has a smooth surface that causes the snow to slide off easier than a shingles roof. Even if the snow starts to melt, a standing seam metal roofing prevents leaks, keeping your house and property protected.


  • Metal roofs have a longer lifespan than shingle roofs


Among the attractive attributes of metal roofing is its longevity. Metal roofs have a long lifespan of 40-70 years before needing replacement. But, the best quality asphalt shingle lasts only about 30 years. You are less likely to replace the roof of the metal roof more than once over the span you live in a house. With an asphalt shingle roof, in 50 years, you may have to get a new roof three or four times.


  • A metal roof is energy efficient


Experts say that a metal roof reflects the sun’s radiating heat, which helps to bring down the cost of cooling by up to 25 percent. The shiny surface of the metal roofing, or the coating’s granular texture, improves its reflective nature, which aids temperature control.


  • Metal roofs are recyclable


Although it takes a long time before you have to replace a metal roof, metal recycling companies readily accept the worn-out roof. But, old shingles roofing cannot be recycled. Its place is in a landfill somewhere. Since disposal companies receive so many shingles, they tend to charge a high fee for disposal. Avoid the cost of occasionally disposing of an old roof by getting a metal roof.


  • You’re less likely to have a damaged roof


You may also prefer a metal roof over shingles due to its dependability. With shingles, even if you fail to have an ice dam after a hard winter and your shingles appear fine in the spring, there could be a problem brewing underneath.


Sometimes, the only damage left could be some small cracks that appear harmless. But, these cracks expose your roof to water damage because they allow water to seep through.


  • It works well for many homes


Some people believe that metal roofing is only suitable for houses whose roofing is steep. But, with a standing seam metal roofing profile, a metal roof may also do well for a gently pitched roof. This roofing profile is slightly raised and tightly sealed to resist water. As such, most houses can accept metal roofing.


  • Metal roofing is not susceptible to damage by rot, fire, or vermin


Among the reasons many people are opting to install a metal roof is that metal is virtually fireproof. As the dangers of wildfires increase, metal roofing is now the more desirable roofing material.


Vermin-like termites cannot eat away your roof. Metal is also impervious to mold and rotting. Also, since metal is a good conductor of heat, a little heat warms up the roof and causes the snow to slide right off the roof once the spring sun comes up.


  • You Need a Professional to Install a Metal Roof


Although some DIY (Do It Yourself) enthusiasts may attempt to install a metal roof themselves, it’s not advised. Installing metal roofing or repair work requires specialized skills to ensure that the roof slopes and interlocks properly.


If you get metal roofing installation services from an experienced and knowledgeable professional, you are less likely to experience any roofing problems soon. Also, there’s less likely to be wastage caused by errors a DIY may encounter.


Get Roof Installation Services From HotEdge


metal roof installation services

Have your new roof installed by HotEdge, the world leader in the manufacture of accredited roof ice melt systems. We offer a permanent solution that prevents the formation of destructive ice dams and icicles. We ensure that your roof stays warm to prevent ice from resting on it and that the ice water has a clear path down the gutters. Check out our simple, low-cost, and effective ice dam prevention solutions for all roof types. 


Our HotEdge Rail and HotSeam solutions work well with metal roofs. We help you choose the suitable roofing material for your home or office. We also check with your local building department to ensure that your roofing aligns with the area’s building codes. You can call +1(303) 578-4995 to request an appointment.



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