ice dam! help

Old 12-18-07, 12:21 PM
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Exclamation ice dam! help

i came home last night to find water leaking into my house, i went outside to find the problem, and sure enough i had an ice dam.

i went to the store today and bought a roof rake to clean off most of the snow on top of the house. my question is what can i do to get rid of the ice that has formed on my gutters and prevent water from leaking in tonight?

i know the long term is to insulate my attic more, but i'm looking for a way to get rid of a lot of ice.

Old 12-18-07, 12:47 PM
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Heat tape, a lot of ice melt, or both. Beating the ice with a hammer would probably only damage the gutter.
Old 12-18-07, 12:55 PM
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ice dam! help

Is this the first time you had the problem? - If so did you do anything to change the conditions? Was you attic access lefy open or ajar?

There is really no good, immediate or overnight solution. Any mechanical means (salt, chopping, etc. can do more harm than good.

Keep the snow off the ice dam and above it on the roof. The sun will do wonders. It even works well below zero because your roofing will absorb the UV and radiant energy. Ice can disappear (sumblimate/evaporate) also without melting.

Insulation is really not the prime solution. You must first make sure you have ventilation from the soffit and up through the roof or ridge vents. Then, you can concentrate on putting in more insulation without hampering the ventilation.

Look at the roof rake as a temporary form of exercise. The only problem is the ground access when the snow gets above your knees.
Old 12-25-07, 12:10 PM
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You'll want to use a salt on the ice. Use something that is friendly to the landscaping... not sodium chloride. I believe magnesium chloride or calcium chloride is what you want.

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