Roof Edge Problems

Roof Edge Problems

Problems at the edge of the roof can include:

  • Ice Damming
  • Faulty Slate Installations
  • Broken Starter Slates
  • Clogged Gutter and Down Spouts     


Ice damming occurs with the build-up of snow on the roof which goes through the freeze/thaw cycle.  During the day, snow will melt under sunlight and poorly insulated attics. At night, this runoff will freeze. Eventually, large sections of ice will form near the eaves. This ice will prevent water from draining off of the roof and the water will back up under the slate and show up as a leak. One remedy for ice damming is increased insulation and increased ventilation. Poorly insulated ceilings will allow warm air from below to rise and melt snow on the roof. 

Faulty slate installations are common, especially after all of the ice damming repairs of recent years. A few of the worst faulty slate installations occur at the edge of the roof. The starter course (first row of slate) is the most important part of a proper slate installation. 

Broken starter slates (slates in the first row beneath the slate you can see), can lead to rotted fascia, leaks and wood work problems. 

Clogged gutters and down spouts can cause water to back up into the roof behind the fascia.