Whats the best method to remove ice dams in gutters?

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by Apostolic, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This would be a question for the Northern members,as I'm sure Southern folks can't relate.
    I have been all over the internet,watching you tube with a few bazaar methods.

    Due to the record low negative zero temps,& snow this winter I have a lot more ice build up on my roof.
    Then other years when I just waited for warmer temps for all of it to melt.

    However this year I'd really like to get rid of the ice build up in my gutters before I have roof leaks.

    So I'm open to any good,or even crazy methods that have worked for any of you in this,or past winters.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Jack Knife

    Jack Knife Well-Known Member

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    move gutters south
     
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  3. othertrucker2001

    othertrucker2001 Professional Flummoxer

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  4. chitownpeddler

    chitownpeddler Well-Known Member

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    I put heating cables on the roof and gutters. I also have heard of cutting women's nylons into 12" pieces, filling them with rock salt and tying both ends, then putting them in your gutters is supposed to be pretty effective as well. It sounds like the nylon idea might be a little late for your situation though.
     
  5. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    I cannot do anything myself, due to at least 2 valid reasons.

    1) my ongoing back situation

    2) i have a 3 family Victorian and that requires at the very least a 50 foot ladder

    3) even if i had no back situation, i fear heights, so i wouldn't even THINK about buying (or renting) a 50 foot ladder..!!!!

    that all being said, i'd have to call a contractor to come on over and inform me on the cost of putting heating elements up there.

    next winter season, you very well may have to be more pro-active and do the stocking trick, or invest in heating elements.

    as long as they continue to work, i would think that you can recoup some of the cost when you go to sell your house..>???
     
  6. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    The store is selling a roof puck for thawing the roof ice dams around here. Similar to a pool chlorine puck. Haven't tried it. ...to me it's the same as pouring salt on the roof.
     
  7. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    if all else fails, ice beavers can be rid of ice dams!!

    i wish you the best APO, what I would seriously wonder though, is if our home owners insurance covers us for such things??? Have you made an attempt to contact your home insurance company??
     
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  8. othertrucker2001

    othertrucker2001 Professional Flummoxer

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    Or....take the gutters down.
     
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  9. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    I don't have them on my house. ...but ice does still build up. .. more insulation would help. Proper ventilation from the eaves to the peak is the answer.

    Keep the roof cool and no ice. ...just snow
     
  10. buffalobill

    buffalobill Well-Known Member

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    I'm over in Western NY, and have been having the same problem, wife bought a roof rake this week, but that is only for snow, it won't do anything except bounce off the 6 inches of ice. I keep telling her i'm going to put my jet heater on top of our little giant ladder, pointing at the gutter and lower roof, and burn it off. its a tin roof , but she is afraid of me doing it. so I keep waiting for the gutters to come crashing down, it will be a bittersweet I told you so.....
     
  11. Guardrail

    Guardrail Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would try heat tape. It comes in varying lengths and is usually encased in a vinyl, waterproof casing. You could string it along the areas prone to ice dams and it would melt the ice along the length of the heat tape. I guess I would lay the tape along the gutter, if the gutter is full of ice and then the leading edge of the roof line. It would melt the ice in the gutter. You would have to figure out how to keep the run off from freezing in the down spouts.

    It's difficult to remedy after the fact. I know there are products you can install before the ice dams start, heat grids or tape. Here's a link to some good advice.

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20557572,00.html
     
  12. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    That heat tape, if it adheres well, can be used on the outside of any down spout, by wrapping it like a candy cane. but man ole mighty, the cost involved with the gutters and downspouts, would have to be astronomical. I'd have to wonder if the cost would be better inline if one was to buy a big roll of plastic plumbing pipe as in this pic..

    [​IMG]

    set up a separate water heater and let it circulate in a closed system. or, simply plumb that into your regular hot water system, and the water will be continually available through out the house. could even be used in heated floors?

    this would be costly as well, but, what does one do when a electrical heating tape goes bad? and the costs associated with that?
     
  13. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup the gutters are going to be gone after the ice melts this spring.
    My wife & I live in an older small 2 bedroom ranch type house,with only a crawl space under most of it.
    We have lived here since 1981,& only have had gutters the last 3 years,which I might add my wife wanted.
    Anyhow we get ice damming every year we have had the gutters,I don't recall having any before.

    Also have never had ice buildup as bad as this winter,due to the record cold,& snow I'm sure.
    I do have a roof rake to pull the snow off the roof,which is really hard,anyone with a bad back, forget about it.
    However even with removing the snow the gutters are still filled up with ice.
    I use heat tape on my water pipes,as well as leave the water dripping in the laundry tub,to keep the water from freezing.
    I don't think heat tape would work on the gutter ice.
    I can't afford it but I think one of those hot water on demand water heaters,& copper pipes in the gutter would work the best.

    Anyhow I thought that maybe someone out of the many Northern TB members may have had a good old method that has worked for them.
    It was worth a try to start a thread topic to seek out an answer,but now I think I'll just wait for the ice to melt.
    Then rip them pesky gutters off my house,which I would only need if I had a basement to keep dry.
     
  14. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    actually when I had a small section of my roof repaired a somewhat flat section, i had these installed, and never a problem.

    http://www.acehardware.com/product/...827&KPID=3701224&kpid=3701224&pla=pla_3701224


    now please do not get me wrong. the ice and snow still cover the gutters. BUT the "sponge" allows for the water to drip into the gutters. I still have frozen down spouts, but i think i'm a "tad bit" lucky that the 2 main downspouts, are in the dun all day long, and melting takes place just enough to allow drainage.

    there are at the very least 2 types of this sponge.

    1) fire retardant

    2) non-fire retardant

    sadly, i got the non-fire retardant, and in the city, our houses are close together, making burning embers an all too real threat.

    I have had some HUGE snow piles up on my roof this winter, and as i can see it now, i have no problems in my apartment, or my mom/dad's.
     
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  15. DCM_Doc

    DCM_Doc Well-Known Member

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    I live in the south & I have had some gutter icing but not enough to stop the drains like you have. I am waiting on Al Gore's global warming to correct the problem.
     
  16. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    If I get enough of an insurance settlement, I'm gonna invest it into a/c companies, this way, I'll make a killing when it gets hotter.
     
  17. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not believe that there is a way to remove them once they have formed and the only option is avoidance. I frequent the Northern Adirondacks and the people up there do not have gutters for the most part. Those that do place them a little below the roof to prevent ice dams and it helps save the gutters when the snow pack comes sliding off the roof as it scoots over the gutters before it drops.
     
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  18. Stimpy

    Stimpy Wingnut

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    :wee:Sunshine and warm air has finished off the ice on my house. ...still have some snow piles in the yard but it won't be long they will be gone.

    Yea. ..it feels like spring is in the air. ..:funky:
     
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  19. ESP

    ESP Well-Known Member

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    I lost the last of our ice on the lake today and all the snow piles are gone now. I was raking leaves yesterday at 64 degrees, today it is 40 degrees.
     
  20. Woody

    Woody Sons of Trump

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    The kids and I piss out the window. ..
     

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