Eavestrough, Dormers and Ice Dams

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Posted on June 09, 2013

I have recently come across an issue that affects many homeowners. Ice Dams. Now I know what you’re thinking…its pretty much summer! In my opinion, a good contractor will be able to spot problems related to all seasons, no matter what time of year the work is being done. In this particular instance I was contracted to install small sections of eaves-trough on 3 small dormers similar to the pic below. The proper way to install the eaves along the side of the dormers is to leave the ends of the trough back far enough from the valley so not

Dormer ice Dams

to contribute to the ice dam issue that will inevitably take place. The problem that develops when you do this is: curb appeal. Leaving the eaves-trough back far enough  makes the job look odd. Leaving the eaves-trough too close, and ice becomes trapped by the eaves and has a good chance of pushing ice back up under the valley flashing and ultimately the ice and water fails; and then… let the leaking begin. In this instance the homeowner was having this work done as part of a new roof installation. It makes perfect sense, that if you are getting a new roof with this configuration, you want to make sure its not going to leak during the first winter.  In this case choosing functionality over form, makes far more sense to me. The homeowner disagreed, and opted for the eaves to be installed up to the valley. If I were the roofing contractor I would be making the homeowner aware that by doing this, he is excluding himself from any warranty issues that arise from this particular problem. To make a long story short, if you go to the trouble of of researching for a contractor, you should use the experience they bring to the table. Otherwise get your neighbours kid to do your work.