Repairing damage from an ice dam: who do we need?
August 30, 2017 8:10 AM   Subscribe

We have an area of roof above our garage, where the roof intersects an overhang, that formed an ice dam a few winters ago and opened a leak. Where do we start with repair?

It looks like the leak actually occurred where some flashing? siding? was pulled away by the ice dam from a joint. The wall underneath with damage is an exterior wall. There's clearly damage and mold to the drywall, and by now the mushy roof indicates damage there as well. We need to fix this (though because it's an exterior wall in the garage, hasn't been high on the list).

We have talked to a few handymen types in the past, and one said while they do just about anything, they won't touch roofs. The roof itself is ~5 years old.

So - what type of professional do we need to be seeking for this kind of repair? Is this general contractor territory? It seems too "small" of a job for someone who builds entire houses. Or carpenters + roofers separately?
posted by Dashy to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A roofer will do all this
posted by fshgrl at 8:28 AM on August 30, 2017

The roofer needs to look into the reason the ice dam formed in the first place. The general idea is that you try to keep the roof cold so that snow won't melt and refreeze, forming a dam. This means keeping ceiling insulation away from the roof and ventilating the area under the roof so it stays cold.

The roofer will probably recommend a waterproof membrane under the shingles if you don't have one.

If the damage to the roof framework is extensive you might need a carpenter, but usually a roofer will do the complete repair.
posted by H21 at 8:45 AM on August 30, 2017

Some GCs will do this, my old company always needed smaller jobs to fill in the corners and keep their carpenters busy during lulls. They may not be the most cost-effective though, depending on the size of the job; a GC will have higher overhead and be using more subcontractors, which leads to higher markup than if you just hire an individual tradesperson.

I would say that this is a carpenter job; you've got drywall, painting, siding, and roofing all involved here (plus you'll probably want more insulation in that area) and the only trade I know of that's likely to be able to handle all of those is a carpenter. They tend to be generalists, plus they usually know some folks in other building trades who they can bring in if part of a job is a bit beyond them.

My old GC would have had their in-house carpenters do every part of this job except for the plastering and painting, and the last is not because our guys would be unable to do it but rather because it wasn't cost effective and also we had a great relationship with a superb plasterer/painter who would have been able to make that part of the repair absolutely vanish. Maaaaaaybe we'd call in the roofer if it was a really big section of roof, but probably not; we used carpenters for anything short of a full re-roof, pretty much.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:07 PM on August 30, 2017

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