Ice on roof


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Old 12-27-04, 02:26 PM
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Ice on roof

There's a shallow area of roof right over my front porch. At this time of year, when there is snow on the roof and it starts to melt off, I get massive icicles and dripping water onto my front porch and walkway. The dripping water freezes and my front steps and walkways turn into a sheet of ice.

Obviously I'm concerned for both my family and the mailman. The previous owner had just recently replaced the roof (tearoff about 3 years ago). How can I prevent this ice from forming? Heat tape?

A seperate issue (and not necessarily belonging in this particular forum), can anyone recommend something that melts ice well, but doesn't destroy everything it touches (like regular rock salt)? I've been using some "safe salt" but it just doesn't work nearly as well as rock salt .
 
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Old 12-28-04, 04:48 AM
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Dave,
I can see where you have concerns however using anything to melt ice and snow off the roof will only speed up the process of getting it to your sidewalks and forming icicles at the roof edge. What you need is a way to either divert the water from the snow and ice to a different area. Eavestroughs, if possible. Then you could use the heat tape to keep them running.
Watch this thread for some of the expert opinions. Good Luck

Sand on the sidewalks would give traction and not tear up the concrete. I don't know of a product that works without the damage.
 
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Old 12-28-04, 07:34 AM
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One thing that I probably should mention, although my roof is new, my gutters will probably need to be replaced soon. They don't look to be in too bad a shape, but they are probably at least 20 or so years old. Could this be the fault of my old gutters? My neighbor has a similar porch overhang, but doesn't appear to have the same problem with the ice - and he has newer gutters.

I bought a bag of magnesium chloride to melt the ice. Much more expensive, but (apparently) not as bad for my lawn and soil as rock salt, and I only need it for a very small area, so it will probably last me quite a while. At least it melted the ice very well, and my mailman will be happy about that...
 
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Old 12-28-04, 08:00 AM
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If your gutters are old, they may have shifted on the support nails and are pitched back instead of towards the downspout. May also have leaves or other things that impede the flow and ice builds up in them. Ice in the gutters will also dam up and force water into the roofing.
 
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Old 12-28-04, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by majakdragon
Ice in the gutters will also dam up and force water into the roofing.
I'm pretty sure that this is what's happening. This may be a stupid question, but can I run heat tape through the gutter to melt the ice, or is that a no-no? I'm sure that there are no leaves clogging it (was just up there to put up Xmas lights ).

If I can reposition the gutters, is it possible that this may alleviate the problem?
 
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Old 12-30-04, 10:41 AM
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hi
i would not put heat cable in gutter.
if you have a decent slope to your gutter they should drain.
maybe your x-mas lights will heat the gutter.
good luck

pgtek
 
 

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