Ice Damming Fix? Prevention?

Old 02-10-21, 01:19 PM
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Ice Damming Fix? Prevention?

Hi, I don't know if this is the appropriate place to post this, but I live in NJ and due to the snowfall that we have had, I now seem to have ice damming on the gutters, causing water to drip on my front path, and making a huge hazard (see attached picture). Any suggestions on how to fix this/keep it from reoccurring? I do have mesh gutter guards, but the gutters and the guards were cleaned at the end of the fall.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Old 02-10-21, 02:15 PM
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Hopefully those with gutter guards will chime in. My experience was with using heat strips in the gutter and downspout which does work though I don't think it would work well with gutter guards.

Another thing that was helpful was a simple metal strip on the roof a few feet up from the gutter that diverted the water to the side. That could direct 95% of the water off to the side and really limit what can spill over onto your porch.
Old 02-10-21, 02:23 PM
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A) Short Term- get a bag of salt pellets for a water softener. Toss about 5 pounds up onto the roof, it will melt through the snow, and then the brine will flow down the shingles and melt the ice dam in the gutter.

B) Long Term- Get a 5, 10, 15 pound 'salt lick' from a hunting / farm supply store, a brick or paver stone, and a bucket/empty kitty litter container.
Set the brick on the roof shingles. Center the salt-lick on top of the brick. Place the bucket over the salt lick.
When snow builds up more than an inch or so, it will swirl around and hit the salt lick, dissolve into brine, and then that brine will then dissolve the rest of the snow.

Technique 'A' was something I came up with when I was doing landscape & treework.
My Boss- "I want you to climb up onto that icy roof and carefully shovel off the snow and carefully chop away the ice.
Me- "It would be safer for me, less costly to you, and take 1/3 of the time, IF you and I to just toss about 80 lbs of salt pellets up onto the roof to dissolve that snow, which will trickle down and dissolve the ice dams in the gutter."
Technique 'B' was created to deal with a flat roof over a porch that always had an ice dam problem. Putting down a brick / concrete paver keeps the salt-lick up off the shingles, covering it with a bucket keeps the rain from dissolving it. When the water DOES build up to form an ice-dam, it touches the salt-lick and then creates brine to dissolve the ice dam.
Old 02-10-21, 04:02 PM
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Any suggestions on how to fix this
First, ice forming like that has nothing to do with the gutters or guards.

Typ its an insulation/heat loss problem. Heat from the house escapes upward, melts the snow on the roof, it runs down the shingles, under the insulating snow, and freezes as it hits the edge/gutter/guard.

Bright sunny cold days as evident in your picture can also cause similar situations, so if it just happened that one time you can ignore above description.

Personally I could never imagine throwing salt or salt blocks on the roof but to each their own.

If you can get some of the snow off the lower edge of the roof so the sun hits it that would help a lot!
Bud9051 voted this post useful.
Old 02-11-21, 05:31 AM
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Had same issue and solved with heater gutter covers and a heat cable inside gutters and down spout. Either, alone, was not enough. Plus I had to double the heat cable on the covers. Lived at 8300’ and got lots of snow. Also found pulling snow off last few feet of roof overhang helped. This allowed the water to flow down to the gutters then away.

For those who will say the roof was underinsulated and not properly vented this was not true. This was Colorado sun melting snow. Took a lot of research and visuals to finally realize this.
XSleeper voted this post useful.
Old 02-12-21, 11:16 AM
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Got the same thing going on at my house. It's south facing, so when the sun hits the roof, the snow melts. Then as temps drop, it freezes. They look pretty though... Just hope it doesn't dam up to the point where I get leaks.

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