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I’m looking for solutions to the problem of losing shingles due to roof “glaciers” breaking off. (I call it a glacier because it’s a layer of snow, often several feet thick, on top of a couple of inches of ice that slowly slides off the roof and eventually breaks off.) We lost several feet of the bottom course of shingles this past winter..

The roof material is composition shingle and was installed eleven years ago. The slope is 5/12 and faces northwest. We live in an area with significant, often wet, snowfall. To give an idea of the amount of snow, the building code for my neighborhood calls for engineering a roof to withstand 300 pounds per square foot of snow load.

From looking at roofs in the neighborhood I see several alternatives:

  • Replace the shingles.
  • Replace the shingles and add snow guards to retard sliding.
  • Replace the lower courses of shingle with sheet metal. I did this for the garage roof a couple of years after installation. Its roof is parallel to the house roof but offset so it collects more snow due to drifting.
I’d greatly appreciate comments, suggestions and recommendations.


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