Davemich needs advice

Davemich needs advice

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:11 am

Davemich lives on the shore of Lake Michigan, and got clobbered by 20+ inches of snow. most while he was away from home on a business trip, leaving his wife and 5 week old son at home.

The snow has built up on his fairly flat pitch dormer roof on the back of his Cap Cod style house. The snow hax created ice dams and water is backing up under the shingles. He's got water above the drywall ceiling in the bedrooms under this roof area.

What davemich needs, [I'm posting 'cause he's still out of town.[ Is some advice as to how to remove the ice off the shingles. He can shovel the snow off, but the heat of the house has melted the snow to ice. And the ice will have adhered to the shingles

He has an about 5 year old roof, with ICE shield under the shingles, but obviously it isn't enough.

Can he scatter salt or icemelter on the roof, to soften the ice for removal?? Or is his only choice to go buy the heater cords and toss them on the ice??

It's going to be 0* for several nights in a row, so the ice will be hard as steel soon.

Any help or suggestions for Dave will be apprecitated.

Greg L

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Last edited by LsFarm on Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostBy: AL-53 On: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:28 am

Greg..I had the same problem a few years back..I used ice melter to loosen the ice...only way I could do it...did no harm to shingles....chopping it can damage the shingles....if he has gutters that is the problem..they hold ice and water backs up....heat cables work good..but hard to get them attached once the ice has formed...they need to be in a V shape to be effective..to melt channels in the ice for water to run off...

I think I used Calcium Chloride..and when Ice softened I removed what I could to get channels to let water run off...

even straight Urea fertilizer works good...I use that now as a ice melter..no lawn damage and green grass in fall....the guy at the grain store told me about using it..

Hope all works out for Dave ...

AL
AL-53
 

PostBy: europachris On: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:48 am

I think some additional insulation is needed, also. The root cause of the ice dams is excessive heat loss causing the snow to melt. I've lived in several homes with very excellent attic insulation and even with 20" or more of snow there has been absolutely no issues with ice dams.
However, driving through the older parts of town where homes are less well insulated, I saw ENORMOUS ice dams forming, gutters tearing off, and heard the stories of severe water damage.

Also, having very good attic ventilation is required to minimize heat buildup from the sun's heating.

Chris
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PostBy: WNY On: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:41 pm

Ouch. I knwo the feeling, we had the same problem a few years ago. I put heat cables and only run when needed. I used a "Roof Rake" to pull the snow off just about 2-3 feet above the gutters to keep it from freezing too much.

Try and pull off any snow above the ice to keep the water at a minimum if possible.

Ice melt would work.
Calcium or magnesium chloride pellets are less harsh and stain less than sodium chloride.

I would have him get a new roof with ICE Sheild that seals the underlayment so the ice/water can't back up under the shingles or a metal roof so the snow can slide off. Or install the Heat cables with a thermostat and like they said, more insulation.
WNY
 
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PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:54 pm

Thanks guys, I'll call Dave and let him know what you have suggested, he wants to buy supplies on the way back home on friday so he can get started on Saturday morning.

The rest of the house with a steeper roof pitch is doing fine [I asked] It is the almost-flat roof pitch over the dormer rooms that is having the problem. His five year old iceshied and shingles are still leaking.

He is planning on buying the heat cable system, but doesn't know what to do to remove the actual ice adhereing to the shingles, It sounds like salt, ice melter or garden supply urea will do the job.

Thanks for helping, keep the ideas coming.

Greg L

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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
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Re: DAvemich needs advice

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:06 am

LsFarm wrote: He can shovel the snow off, but the heat of the house has melted the snow to ice. And the ice will have adhered to the shingles


Getting as much of the snow off as possible wwill help, guess that's obvious. Snow will act as insulator preventing whatever is underneath it from melting.

I know it's supposed to get very cold, besides what was mentioned above perhaps getting a one of those kerosene tube heaters and heating the inside to some ridiculous amount. that may do very little if the roof is insulated. May not even be worth the effort if he already has a lot of water damage.
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PostBy: WNY On: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:36 am

If we get alot, I sometimes use my Roof Rake to get the snow away from the gutters and up about 2-3 feet onto the roof so it can melt easier...

Only problem is if you have the heat cables, tends to snag them, This one has rollers which looks like a better design than mine.

ie.
http://www.roofrake.com/Productpages/deluxeroofrake.asp
WNY
 
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PostBy: rouxzy On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:52 am

Chris,
Ceiling insulation or lack of is not the problem. I have an unheated barn with a 12/12 pitch and I get ice damns. Even though you will get heat loss through the roof a considerable amount of melting is from the sun especially with a roof with little pitch and with a southern exposure.
Tom
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PostBy: europachris On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:50 am

rouxzy wrote:Chris,
Ceiling insulation or lack of is not the problem. I have an unheated barn with a 12/12 pitch and I get ice damns. Even though you will get heat loss through the roof a considerable amount of melting is from the sun especially with a roof with little pitch and with a southern exposure.
Tom


Interesting, and that makes a lot of sense. I recall, however, seeing a much larger percentage of older, less well insulated homes that have large ice dams and icicles hanging off, while the newer homes do not.

Like many things, it's the combination of issues that really makes the deal.

Chris
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PostBy: Frank B. On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:30 am

As well as using ice melting salt; (Cal Chloride) I would also take some ladies nylons and fill them with Ca Chloride making salt filled tubes. Lay these on TOP of the ice (it will stick to the ice) This seems to be effective for a longer period of time the just scattering the salt.
Last edited by Frank B. on Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostBy: davemich On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:02 pm

Thanks Greg and the rest of you. I cannot get to the flat portion of the roof to either spread salt or rake the snow off. I bought these tabblets called Roof Melt and threw them as best I could along the gutter line. I will keep you posted on my results or lack thereof. The leaking stopped but I'm sure that was due to the cold temps. Hopefully it will work. This spring I will install the heat cables. Should have done that this fall...oh well...gettin old!!!
davemich
 


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