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Residential Metal Roofing: Is It Right for Me?

When the contractor delivered the sad news that my roof needed replacing, that led to a discussion of material choices. I was surprised to hear that metal roofing was an option. Sure, it was fine for commercial buildings, but a home? My contractor told me that metal is used for homes more than people realize. The panels can be designed to look like just about any type of roofing you can imagine. After looking at some samples and finding out about the long life of metal roofs, I decided to give it a try. Fifteen years later, my roof is still in great shape. If you are facing a roof replacement in the near future, let me tell you more about metal roofing. I'm betting that you'll decide this solution is right for your home.

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Residential Metal Roofing: Is It Right for Me?

How To Remove An Ice Dam

by Kelly Murphy

Ice dams are a common roofing problem that can develop during the winter months. Ice dams occur when snow on your roof is melted by hot air in your attic. The water runs off partway down your roof before freezing into ice, creating a solid barrier that blocks further water from flowing properly off of your roof. This water will sit on top of hot pockets of air in your attic, and will begin to soak through your roof, resulting in structural damage and leaks. Thankfully, if you have an ice dam on your roof, you can remove it yourself with a few simple tools.

Before You Start

Before you begin, gather all of your tools and materials so the process goes by as quickly as possible.

You'll need a roof rake (though a traditional rake will work in a pinch, it is also much more likely to damage your roof), a powdered commercial ice melting product, a nylon stocking, a ladder, and tarps. All of these items can be found at most hardware and grocery stores.

Removing an Ice Dam

First, use the roof rake to remove the snow from the edge of your roof below the ice dam in question. Be sure to knock off any icicles that are hanging from the eaves and to stand far back from the edge of the roof so as to not injure yourself.

Then, get up on the ladder and locate the exact position of the ice dam. It is important to have someone spot you while you are working, as the icy conditions make it much more likely that you'll fall off the ladder if you're alone.

Fill the nylon stocking with the commercial ice melting product, and lay it over the middle of the ice dam. The nylon stocking will hold the ice melting product in place over the ice even as the water begins to run off, and melting the middle of the dam will ensure that the vast majority of the water held on your roof will begin to run off.

Then, inspect your gutter system and make sure that there are no blockages in the gutters or downspout. If there is organic debris stuck in there, simply remove it by hand.

Finally, get down off of the ladder and cover any plants near the edge of your roof with a tarp to ensure that they are not poisoned by the chemical runoff from the ice melting product.

For more information contact a company like Columbia Roofing Inc.

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