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  1. Phatty

    Phatty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    north east Mass.
    ok ive searched and didnt find what i am looking for .i have ice dams again this year after every snow fall i rake the roof
    never had this problem till i addad a second layer of insulation 3 years ago i made sure the eves were not covered with
    insulation this house is 100 plus years old has blown in insulation in the walls ive seen pics on here of pink foam between
    the joists in the attic is this the easiest fix ?

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  2. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yeah, you and everyone else in the NE.

    BTW, another monster storm coming Wed-Thurs......I've heard it might be worse than last years big blizzard. :ahhh:
  3. Phatty

    Phatty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    north east Mass.
    ya i turn the tv off when the weather comes on the wife has to go make deliveries in that shat

    the reason i posted the ice dams is some one posted here with pics of the pink corragted foam and also put some kinda tinfoil(?)
    with it and said it cooled in the summer and kept the house warmer in the winter???
  4. Phatty

    Phatty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    north east Mass.
    i realize everyone has em here but i hadn had a problem in 14 years till
    i added the 2nd layer of insulation
  5. Kiver

    Kiver New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Western Ma
    I was over my friends house this weekend shoveling the roof and making pantyhose snakes. He must of had 6 inches of ice at the gutter
  6. magsf11

    magsf11 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    348
    Loc:
    buffalo ny
    yep they are saying that we might get nailed this time.
  7. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,467
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    I rake roof every storm, no ice dams, it's why I rake.
  8. UncleAnthony

    UncleAnthony Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    233
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Right there with ya ! As you probably know, reason why you did not have ice dams before 2nd insulation was your roof
    was so warm that most snow melted off (?) . Now you ice dam at eaves ? I rake the roof, but some places (inside valley)
    I cant get to. Last year and this year threw up reusable nylon Roof socks filled with calcium cloride and this is supposed to help break the dam and get water flowing off roof (i then pray it works ) . Can get these roof socks for $10 each at amazon.com. (Two years ago had ice dams back up and leaked big time into house,dont want to go thru that again)

    it's worth a try !
  9. jumpink

    jumpink Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Northern New Jersey
    what do you use to rake the roof?
  10. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    261
    Loc:
    Western NY
    Yep, even out here in WNY (where storms typically miss us) is supposed to feel the impact of this one...12"+ snow predicted by Wednesday, with strong winds to boot.
  11. Phatty

    Phatty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    north east Mass.
    i went and bought a roof rake at hd and about 6 extentions its a little scary but it works
    you wont get me up on my roof i dont bounce very well
  12. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    643
    Loc:
    Beautiful Attica/Varysburg,New York
    Make sure you have good ventilation & soffit vents are clear. Went to metal roof years ago, never a problem...except when the snow slides off- watch out........
  13. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,440
    Loc:
    Waupaca, WI
    If you have too much insulation and no air movement you will get ice dams...

    When I remodeled my kitchen/porch in 1991 I jammed in a lot of insulation into the area above the formerly outside porch (which we made part of the kitchen). I didn't put a vent into the rood or soffits... big mistake.

    I redid the roof 15 years ago and made my own ice shield from two pieces of .028 aluminum and a lot of 'Blackjack' asphalt sealer. I ran it 4' up the roof... never had any problems with leaking. Then a few years ago we had some wind/hail damage so I hired a professional to do the roof... now I have big time water leaking into my porch every time I have an ice dam... like right now. It got so bad today that the entrance door to the porch froze shut...

    Looks like I'll need to redo the damn roof one more time...
  14. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,940
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello

    This is the worst year for Ice Dams in a long time!!

    There are 2 ways to go that will help.

    1. The electric heat cable that you run in a W pattern along the edge of the roof.

    Not a good time to install it now! Also it will add to your electric bill!

    2. Installing the Pink or light yellow Rafter Vents from HD or Lowe's sometime called Proper Vents between the beams in the attic ceiling.

    That is what I did, but for this to work you must have soffit vents. (easy to install yourself) and a ridge vent. (Roofers must install when re-roofing now because of the newer building codes)

    No electricity needed. Easy to install with a staple gun or a air stapler which is what I used!!
    See 1st pic
    and
    if you want your house 10 degrees cooler in the summer just staple Reflectix foil from HD or Lowe's to the vents.
    See 2nd pic

    Now is the best time to install them and have a warmer winter and a cool summer!

    Attached Files:

  15. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,440
    Loc:
    Waupaca, WI
    That's what I needed to do 20 years ago but I wasn't that smart...
  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,940
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Yes, I wish I did that back in 86 when I bought my house built in 1962 with New! Owens-Corning Fibergalss Building Insulations marked in big black letters >>>>> ECONOMY >>>>>> (R7 !! - See pic below)

    It was not until on Wed Aug 13th in 2008 when I got my oil tank filled and was handed the bill!!
    Date________Gallons___Price/Gal___Total
    08-13-2008___208.5____$4.129____$860.90


    I was using approx 937 gallons of oil for heat and hot water per year!!

    So that was my wake up call !!
    Since then I ripped out the R7 added 2x2s to the 2x4s in the attic floor. I rolled in reflectix with R19 on top crisscrossed with R30.
    Then put in the rafter vents and the reflectix foil in between the rafters. Installed a pellet stove and a new cold start boiler with an outdoor reset.

    So at the current price of $3.20 per gallon that 937 gallons today would cost a whopping $2998.40 per year !!

    Now my oil consumption is approx. 200 gallons per year or $2.59 x 200 = $518.00 ( I only buy in the summer when oil is cheaper)
    That is a savings of $2998.40 - $518.00 + $600.00 (3 tons of pellets)= $1880.40

    So It is never too late to start saving heat!!!

    Attached Files:

  17. wilburg

    wilburg Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    163
    Loc:
    Western Mass
    I had an ice dam, I broke it up this morning. The easiest and quickest way I have found to break up ice dams is to take a garden hose, attach it to the shower head (you can get an adapter at HD) and then run pure hot water through a spray head. It cuts the ice like butter. I cut a valley every three feet or so. Of course it costs me 80 gallons of hot water, but the job is done and hands dont get cold.
  18. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    Targhee NF, ID

    Was flabbergasted to read this post. Our old house in the Utah Rocky Mountains at 7200 ft gets on average 250 inches of snow and some homes here do suffer from ice dam problems. Contrary to what you wrote, we blame it on insufficient insulation, rather than on adding insulation!

    As I read on, it soon became clear that you must indeed have so little insulation that you are better off raking everything off after a storm whereas we try to leave all the snow on the roof for its insulating value (unless some porches or other roof overhangs cannot bear the weight anymore in very heavy (up to 400 inches) snow years).

    A very experienced roofer in our area was once asked (on a local forum) what the best way was to fight ice dams: heating tape or aluminum roof skirts? He laughed and said: "If you do have ice dams your insulation is faulty, particularly in the eaves. You should first try to improve THAT!"

    Nonetheless, we did sometimes get caught with unexpected insulation loss problems; often as a result of squirrels or even raccoons getting into attics or tunneling into cathedral ceilings and once we were too far into the winter season it is usually was too late in the season to repair things right away.

    Just as mentioned by one of the responders; as a temporary solution we would put the hot water hose on it to cut some channels. Others might put in electric heating tape. The worst method, of course, is to take an ax to it (e.g. from one of the upper decks) and then having to repair the roof damage in spring.

    Why am I bringing all this up here, although it is not very pertinent to your problem?

    Well, I imagine some people with newer, well-insulated roofs might read this thread and perhaps think they should always rake off the snow and never add extra insulation........

    In short: if you have excellent insulation and your roof is strong enough: don't touch anything. If you still get a few ice dams, just deal with it carefully (e.g. with hot water and/or heating tape) and plan to check and improve your insulation before the next winter. Snow has very nice insulating properties.

    However, if the snow is melting in many spots, other than just over the eaves, the situation may indeed be far enough out of control to make raking advisable. It is a little bit like being caught in a swampy stretch of forest; are you better off trying to make it accross or is it smarter to retrace your steps?? The worst thing is to be caught in the middle.

    Henk
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,059
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    The only time I take a snow rake to the roof here is when the depth on the roof exceeds 48" or is wet due to heavy wet snow. It is a matter of weight and nothing but weight.

    I have only used the snow rake twice, both times it was our first winter here. I also had to clear off the deck 2 times that winter. No way to rake the roof on one side without clearing the deck at least once.

    We had a snow ball fight in the back yard (or is it the front yard, oh well) on May 5 that first spring.
  20. smilejamaica

    smilejamaica Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Loc:
    hartford ct
    if you have ice dams every year you might want to look into buying and installing a Roof De-Icing Cable http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_...9x00001a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM2379417302 it is something most people dont need but it is an option
  21. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,440
    Loc:
    Waupaca, WI
    I have a heat cable up there but it's shorted out...

    When it DID work it really didn't work as well as i would have liked... of course one of my boys bought it and installed it.... he bought the cheapest one he could find so i don't really think it was up to the job.
  22. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    Targhee NF, ID
    When we moved into the Utah Rocky Mountains at 7200 ft 33 years ago the first house we had was all-electric (then, the bigger residential users would actually earn a special discount from the power company!) and came with 10 de-icing cables installed on the roof edges and in the gutters. When I used my multimeter, I was shocked: each of these 10 cables was drawing 1 kW !!

    On top of that, they just made little tunnels in the ice.... However, there is a type of cable that can be buried UNDER an aluminum skirt so the heat spreads out over a larger area and keeps much more of the roof clean (in combination with the slipperiness of the aluminum surface).

    Once we realized that running all the 10 cables might easily cost us more than $ 10 per day (just to try and prevent ice dams) we made sure we learned how to do without the cables; e.g. by improving the insulation.

    Henk
  23. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,940
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello Wilburg

    Please tell us how you hooked up the hose to hot water? (I think I would have to do some plumbing before I could do that!)
  24. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    Targhee NF, ID

    Yes, but only if your insulation is good enough.

    If it is poor enough that you have continuous slow melting near the higher parts in combination with re-freezing over the eaves (particularly during extended day/night thaw/freeze cycles you have a recipe for giant ice dam formation.

    In the latter case it is probably wise to immediately remove all the snow after each storm, as some of the posters appear to be doing.

    Henkl
  25. little_hawk_59

    little_hawk_59 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Loc:
    michigan
    as most of the people have said, the most common cause of an ice dam is that there is not enough air flow coming in from the soffet along the roof boards and out the peak. you might have not covered the soffet but you might need move vented soffet then solid. your attic should be " a cold zone" of the house if you go up there in the winter is should be very cold like it is outside.

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