It is the reaction between dissimilar metals. Without getting too technical, when two different metals are in contact with one another and water is present, then one of the metals will corrode and disintegrate. When copper is in contact with steel – the steel corrodes. There are buffer metals – stainless steel is an example – that do not corrode or cause corrosion when next to some other metals. It is best practice to use copper with copper. Fasteners such as stainless steel and brass can be used with copper.

Ice dams are caused by snow and temperature. If snow is present on a roof and it melts, it has the opportunity to refreeze at the eaves or in the gutters. This is because snow can melt even though temperatures are below freezing. Heat loss from the house, fluctuating temperatures, and solar radiation all play a part in causing snow to melt. When the snow hits the roof edge or gutter it can refreeze when these areas are below freezing and are not insulated by the snow on the roof.

Subsequent cycles of snow melt and refreezing at the eaves build ice dams and dangerous icicle formations. This leads to leaking and property damage. We are experts at solving roof and gutter ice dams. If you are ready to discuss these effective and efficient ice dam solutions - contact us.

The simple answer is no. Zig zag or hardware store heat cables do not stop ice dams from forming. They only have the ability to melt channels in the ice dams and are usually only effective when the snow fall is under 6”. Once snow on the roof is greater than that, ice dams form right over the top of them.

Notice the picture here with the hardware store heat cables plugged in but being entirely overwhelmed by even a relatively small amount of snow on the roof. However, the concentrated energy and efficiency of our roof and gutter deicing systems means we can prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. Visit our ice dam prevention page for more information on the ice dam prevention products we use to solve roof and gutter ice dam problems.

This is because inferior materials are often used by roofing contractors. The reason for this is either because of ignorance or greed. The roof flashings (valley, roof to wall, chimney, etc.) are usually supplied by the same building material supplier that supplies the shingles. While shingles have improved, the steel flashings used on roofs have not. They are typically a baked enamel finish or raw galvanized steel and will start rusting in as little as 5 years. When shingles used to last 10-20 years, this was not a problem. Now shingles can last 30, 40, or even 50 years. Beware – your contractor knows you probably do not have any idea that there are options in the roof flashings used on your house. And they will take advantage of that. Ask questions – Is the flashing 26 ga. or thicker (the lower the number, the thicker the steel)? Is the paint finish a commercial finish like Kynar 500 or SMP? Are the roof flashings being supplied by a sheet metal shop like GSB Services or is the supplier delivering it with the rest of the roofing materials? A ‘yes’ answer to this means you are getting inferior materials for the most critical parts of your home’s roof.

Copper forms a surface corrosion called a patina. This occurs over time and is the result of a process where the copper bonds with pollutants to form copper sulfate. This is one of the few corrosions that is actually beneficial to the metal. This patina forms a protective layer over the copper and prevents further degradation of the base metal. Because this is an environmental response requiring water and the right pollutants it can take decades to form a mature green patina. The copper will turn ‘brown or bronze’ in color after a few months.

GSB Services can also chemically accelerate the patina process, causing the copper to develop a green patina almost immediately.

Commonly, both 16 oz. and 20 oz copper is used. Copper is measured by the weight per square foot. So 16 oz. copper weighs 16 ounces per square foot. 20 oz copper is heavier, and therefore thicker. There is also copper that is bonded to stainless steel and aluminum much like a penny has copper bonded to other metals. While these have their uses, copper bay window and barrel dormer roofs as well as half round copper gutters should be fabricated from 16 and 20 ounce copper.

 GSB Services, LLC

      220 Watertown Plank Road, Unit C

      Nashotah, WI 53058

Mailing Address:

       PO Box 180193

       Delafield, WI 53018

Office: 800-385-6279