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Roofing Design, Fabrication, and Installation Services

At RQ Fabrication & Installation inc., we specialize in roofing materials including copper, slate, sheet metal, aluminum, wood, rubber, and shingles. With our expertise, you don’t have to worry about ice dams or those unsightly cables.

We have exceptional knowledge on all roofing related tools and machinery. From hand tools, sheet metal bending/shaping equipment to onsite hand tools/soldering, our team ensures a quality and accurate design that fits your current structures.

Our Roofing Specialties Include

  • Installation and repairs of rubber, TPO, shingles, sheet metal, slate, copper, asphalt and rubber roofs, slate towers and valleys, flashing and ice dams.
  • Competitive proposals based on measurements, blueprints, layout, and design. We can also customize projects to meet the architect’s needs.
  • Our team accurately determines project requirements that include assembly, sequences, methods, materials, blueprints, drawings, and written/verbal instructions.
  • We utilize AutoCAD to design roofing projects and have redesigned a few programs for customized proposals and project overview specifics such as looking down from overhead on roofing projects.
  • Fabricate copper cornice work, specialty designs for high-end homes and commercial buildings from the roofline utilizing all available roofing products, and working knowledge of CNC auto brake metal shear.
  • Expertise in utilizing various methods for joining roofing materials that include solder, bolts, cement, rivets, caulks, metal drive clips, and various bonding materials and installing flashing, pipes, tubes, rain gutters, and downspouts.

Ice Dam Prevention

What Causes Ice Dams?

There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof and the upper portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32°F, while lower surfaces are below the same temperature.

For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F. When we say temperatures that are above or below 32°F, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.

The snow on a roof’s surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof, it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila! - An ice dam.

The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior covering and flows into the attic space.

From the attic, it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish. Not having a uniform roof surface temperature leads to ice dams.

Ice Dams: Fact vs. Fiction

There is a lot of misinformation out there on the topic of ice dams. Our goal here is to be the single definitive source for all things relating to them. Here are some common misconceptions about ice dams, roof snow, roof ice, and gutter ice removal.

Fact: Ice Dams Can Occur With Virtually No Snow on Your Roof

It’s a question of ice accumulations. It takes very little actual moisture to form ice dams. Even a dusting of snow can create a problem. Of course, it is most often the accumulation of thick snow that creates ice dams more quickly.

Fiction: Gutters Have Something to Do With Ice Dams

The truth is gutters have nothing whatsoever to do with ice dams. If your home is prone to ice dams, you will get them either way. Your gutters will fill with ice and provide a foundation for the ice dam above. If you don’t have gutters, the ice dam simply builds on the cold edge of the roof. We provide ice dam removal for many homes each year that do not have gutters.

Fact: Gutter Systems Can Be Damaged by Gutter Ice

We see it every year. A section of otherwise fine gutter is either on the ground or hanging pathetically off the edge of the roof, filled with ice. Freshwater ice weighs about 60 pounds per cubic foot and gutters are not designed to tolerate that sort of load. See photo of gutter damaged by an ice dam. It’s important to initiate gutter ice removal sooner than later.

Fiction: When It Comes to Insulation, the More the Better

Improperly insulated homes are just as bad as under-insulated homes when it comes to ice dams. We have fixed countless bad insulation jobs for this reason. Specifically, we frequently find insulation done in such a way as to inhibit proper ventilation. If you don’t address air leakage into the attic or rafter spaces, all the insulation in the world won’t prevent ice dams.

Fact: You Can See Ice Dams From the Ground

Not always. It’s true that you can usually spot a monster very easily. You can see the two-foot icicles and the little glacier on your gutter. The sneaky ones are usually above skylights or in roof pan areas far out of sight. Sometimes ice dams grow up valleys and on top of dormers making it almost impossible to identify from the ground.

Fiction: Salt Socks Are a Smart Way to Address Ice Dams

People use pantyhose, old socks, and store-bought cloth tubes filled with a variety of ice-melting compounds for removing ice dams. They use corrosive substances like rock salt, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and more to melt channels through their ice dams.

Some compounds are better than others, but all present risks you should keep in mind. Some of the aforementioned chemicals affect the integrity or color of your roof, some are corrosive to the aluminum when gutter ice is removed this way, some are corrosive to valley metal and other flashings, some damage plant life as the water drains below. You are rolling the dice when you go this route so be aware.

 

Fact: Ice Should Be Removed by Steam

We are roofers and have fixed hundreds of roofs that have been damaged by well-intentioned professionals with hammers, picks, and hatchets in their pursuit of removing ice dams to help their clients. The damage we have found caused by the less-than-professional souls is almost funny if it wasn’t so serious.

In our years, we have seen jobs with picks and hammers where removing ice dams were done successfully. It gets down to a question of risk management. We strongly advise against the hack-a-tier approach even if it is a little cheaper. Roof ice and gutter ice should always be removed with steam.

Fiction: Ice Dams Need to Be Thick to Cause a Problem

Ice dams that are as thin as one inch can give you big problems. A good general rule is that the steeper your roof is, the thicker the ice dam has to be to cause issues. Having lowered pitched roofs makes even the thinnest ice dam a hassle to deal with.

Fact: The Leaking Caused by Ice Dams May Not Show Up Right Away

It would be nice if water stains or mold manifested immediately upon entering your home, but it simply does not work that way. Often, the water that ice dams push into homes travels around the wall and ceiling cavities, trapped by vapor barriers and other materials until it finds the path of least resistance to escape. By the time you see water inside, it’s usually been there for a while.

Get in Touch With Us

Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for additional information about the services we offer. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and give you a quote.

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