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Author Topic: HELP! Ice dams  (Read 6109 times)

Cougar

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HELP! Ice dams
« on: January 16, 2011, 12:58:50 AM »
I can't believe I'm asking for advice here ... but I figure someone may have dealt with this problem.

Prevention is for the future but now I have a leak coming in the bay window (like a few years before) and now one coming in at the top of the front door.

I've been hunting on the internet and of course will make a Home Depot run tomorrow ... but I've been reading that for an emergency, to make an ice dam sock.  You take pantie hose and fill them with ice melt (not rock salt) and lay them down every 2 feet (hanging vertically on the roof to just over the gutter edge).  This makes melted channels in the snow/ice and give the water a way to flow.

Any of you have experience with this or menfolk with advice?

Thanks ... I keep imagining waking up tomorrow with no ceiling in the living room.  Drat you, Benedict!
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 05:44:49 AM »
My father was telling me about this yesterday. He didn't mention a sock, but he said you can buy salt pellets that you throw up on the roof, which then do exactly as you say. You can probably get them at any Home Depot or hardware store--unless, of course, everyone had the same idea as you.

As an alternative, you could call a roofing person and ask him to scrape the snow off your roof. We did that the winter before last when I heard water dripping in the eaves. I think he charged us $75 for around 15 minutes of work. He just brought a ladder and a roof rake.

We have a cape, though, so it's easy to get to most of our roof.

My sympathies. I actually love winter, but ice dams really put the winter experience in a negative light.

Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 05:48:07 AM »
Pellets of Fire Snow and Ice Melter Calcium Chloride Pellets
So not salt, exactly.


http://www.amazon.com/Pellets-CPP50-Calcium-Chloride-50-Pound/dp/B0044R873C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295174702&sr=8-1

Only one review, but it was from a local person. :)

Quote
Used on recent 12 January 2011 blizzard in New England. Worked as expected. Quickly melted ice layer after I cleared surface snow. Put on wet areas next day when warmer to avoid ice development overnight, and wet areas dried vice icing over. It is pearlized product vice angular and spread well with the simple hand held spreader. The spreader is available on Amazon and works well. Suncast SS025 Hand Held Spreader For Ice Melt/Sand/Salt Snow De-Icers
Some did spill on the garage floor and appeared to melt without any wetness so I'd keep this product tightly covered. The lid does open with a pull strip but then has four evenly spaced tabs which secure the lid to the container, even when I knocked it over. You do not need tools to unseal or reseal the container. Great price and can't beat not having to lug this thing from the store home. Bucket number 2 enroute as we speak. Have a wonderful winter.

He makes it sound like the roof has to be raked first. Hmmm.

Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 09:01:21 AM »
In the diagrams. they lay the sock even on the snow/ice to get a channel melted.  I can see that if doing the toss/spreading thing, you'd want to rake off the snow.

Thank you so much.  I am horrified as to what may happen.
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Styyna

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 09:16:46 AM »
I can't believe I'm asking for advice here ... but I figure someone may have dealt with this problem.

. . .

Any of you have experience with this or menfolk with advice?

Thanks ... I keep imagining waking up tomorrow with no ceiling in the living room.  Drat you, Benedict!

I think this is a great place for advice and/or empathy. Between all of us, we are sure to have experienced something similar to most any situation! (I sent my response via email. Hugs and love, Sis.)
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milla

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2011, 12:07:07 PM »
I ahve got absolutely no idea how you deal with that-I just want to offer my moral support!!
Hope it gets sorted. It sounds like a total nightmare.
x

makeupmaven

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 12:51:46 PM »
I never heard of ice dams! Have to ask DH about that one when he gets home. Good luck, Cougar.
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 01:29:07 PM »
Coug, that product I linked to was for driveways/walkways only.

My dad's doing research for us now on the "sock pellet" he saw at Ace Hardware.

Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 01:31:27 PM »

Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 03:02:45 PM »
I'm getting up the gumption to make a Home Depot trip to see if they have anything ready-made.  This is horrible and I was so careful to have the gutters cleared this year.  I think we:
a) Have an overload of snow
b) My attic is way overdue to have all insulation refreshed
c) This side of the house faces North and gets almost no sun (the back side melts off nicely every year)
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Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 04:33:12 PM »
The latest:

So far, nobody in town I've called has roof rakes (they're all out).  Nobody knows what an Ice dam sock is.

I've put in a request at ServiceMagic.com which is how I found other house support.  Let's hope I get an answer soon!  It's kind of like an Angie's List.

I *will* be obtaining a roof rake.  I'll take the time to research and get it at the best price (auction sites if needed).  I might even get it in the warm season but now I know to start removal ASAP.
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 04:54:37 PM »
When in a bind, call Amazon!

I found plenty, and most would ship free (but you might want to bump up the shipping, given your walls are already taking on water)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=roof+rake&x=0&y=0&sprefix=roof+rake

I also found this ice sock on Amazon (but the pellets that go inside are sold separately, it appears):

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Dam-Roof-Steps-Deicer/dp/B000NPOLGQ

The ice sock is $10 and roof rakes are around $40. All the ones in the search get good reviews.


Anita

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2011, 05:17:25 PM »
I have no advice to offer, but am sending you lots of good thoughts.  The panic in your posts is heart-breaking. 

Tupelo

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2011, 06:32:53 PM »
Cougar - I'm so sorry to know that you are dealing with this very scary situation! I never heard of an ice dam before today. From what I have read, when the conditions are right, many homeowners deal with this problem each winter.

I have read once you get those socks in place, the drainage channels will form in about a half hour and you will soon be rid of it.

Also - I read that you can prevent this from happening again (without insulation work) with a roof and gutter heating cable kit.  You can get them on Amazon, You only need to plug them in when you have similar conditions to those causing the ice dams now (2-3 days of below freezing temps following a big snowfall).

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Heat-ADKS-500-100-Foot-Icing/dp/B0000DGAKL/ref=pd_bxgy_ol_img_a

You run the cable, using the clips to anchor it, and plug it in. It's about $150 to run 100 feet of it, and you'll never have this happen again.  I never heard of this, either!

I hope that by tomorrow this fearsome worry will be history for you!  :hug:

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Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2011, 06:38:54 PM »
You all are the bomb.  And I spent a good hour chewing off Styyna's ear  :lol:

Just now, Marco answered me; I'd found him earlier through service Magic and I think he's coming tomorrow.

Short term:
- get that dang snow raked off
- ice socks?
- LOVE the idea of the heating cables

Long term:
- I really am beginning to get just as excited over saving for a new roof and re-insulating the attic (loooong overdue) as I am about clothes and makeup
- rake that dang roof over and over whenever there's a snow, from the get go

Thank you all for caring.  I felt I was some sort of rotten home owner and didn't deserve to run a house.  I'm a little calmer now.
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 07:14:01 PM »
I felt I was some sort of rotten home owner and didn't deserve to run a house.  I'm a little calmer now.

Now, now. Who could possibly know all this stuff?

When we were kids, we used to get so excited about icicles hanging from the eaves of our house, while our parents were inside biting their nails over ice dams. :lol:

And, yes, for some of us, it's a dreaded yearly threat.

makeupmaven

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2011, 07:21:28 PM »
Cougar, don't beat yourself up for not knowing. I'm as clueless as the Lisa Douglas character on Green Acres.
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makinalist

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2011, 08:37:43 PM »
BB is right - given that you had to have exactly the right set of conditions for this to happen, it is no wonder that you didn't see it coming.  I hope this Marco works a miracle for you tomorrow!
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Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2011, 02:17:38 AM »
Wow, and look at this razor type rake with a slide!  The video explains it.  I want one.  Maybe not for this year but when I've investigated more:

http://www.aiconsol.com/dynamo-ultimate-kit-roof-razor-minnsnowta.html
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 03:29:18 AM by Cougar »
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2011, 08:13:25 AM »
Very cool! I'd love to get one of those because a typical roof rake only goes halfway up the roof of our cape.

Cougar, we didn't get as much on our roofs during this storm because we had heavy winds, which blew a lot of it off onto the ground.

ILuvLucy

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2011, 08:22:48 AM »
Hi Cougar,
I'm stopping by to lend my moral support as well.  Hope you're able to find a remedy soooon! 
I felt I was some sort of rotten home owner and didn't deserve to run a house.  I'm a little calmer now.
I was thinking quite the opposite.  Now you will be the  one we all come running to with our home repair questions & issues!  {glad you feel calmer now}  :hug:
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Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2011, 09:21:34 PM »
FLASH REPORT!!!

Marco came by, bought and brought back ice melt pellets, filled my pantie hose knee highs, and lay them on the roof edges about 2 feet apart (say 10 just along the front where leaks are happening).  Water is dripping out from the ice dam sock ends!  One is almost a steady stream, the drips are so steady.  Only the morning will tell if this really works.  What I've learned:

a) The ice melt socks do indeed cut a channel in the snow/ice on a roof
b) Water indeed comes out the sock end
c) Placement is everything.  I got out a step ladder and a Grab-It Stick then pulled some of the socks out just a little bit more.  Once they truly had the teensiest overhang, drips came out past the edge of the outer gutter wall and dropped onto the ground
d) I wish Marco had started in the morning instead of the late day.  Is water coming out from the roof or from the pooling up in my ceiling?
e) I should have given him pantie hose legs (I had only a few).  The longer and fatter the "sausage", the more melter is on the roof and the longer it lasts.

The real future (besides redoing insulation, etc.) is:
a) Get a Roof Razor and do it as soon as a lot of snow starts accumulating
b) Lay plenty of ice melt socks along the typically worse places to help ensure run-off.

We'll see in the morning.

P.S. Freezing rain and cr*p is on its way tonight.
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2011, 09:56:11 PM »
P.S. Freezing rain and cr*p is on its way tonight.

:ditto:

I am really glad to hear your roof is de-damming.

Poppyfields

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2011, 12:03:59 PM »
Hooray!  Good news.   :grin:
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makeupmaven

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2011, 12:25:53 PM »
I'm happy for you, Cougar. I've learned so much here that I hope there's a Jeopardy category on ice dams!
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Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2011, 11:08:56 PM »
Well, now we've been having freezing rain and stuff.  I *think* the problem has stopped ... but I am still watching.  Water is indeed dripping steadily off the gutters and there's no drips in the house.

But I'm still wary.
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2011, 07:26:39 AM »
I could ice skate on my driveway this morning. I was taking recycling out and did a little contortion dance so I wouldn't fall down.

I'm glad the socks are still melting the stuff on your roof. I don't know about you, but up here, it's going to get near 40 degrees, so that should help. Looking out my window now, I can see the little icicles that formed are dripping rapidly.

I hope it doesn't rain heavily or we will get water in our basement.

Do your walls show visible damage from the leak, or has the problem been contained internally?

makinalist

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2011, 08:34:58 PM »
A wary cougar sounds dangerous.  Here's hoping your troubles are over!
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Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2011, 11:08:35 PM »
HAHA ... "wary cougar".  :lol:

ZP, no more leaks right now.  But we're going to get super cold again.

I will be unwary when the whole dang thing melts!  I still have a good 8 inches of snow covered with ice on the roof.

Where's that thread about moving to Florida?
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Styyna

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2011, 11:23:10 PM »
How long does a fill in those socks last? Are they still working for you? Have you had to refill and replace yet?

They should like the wisest thing you could do based on early success. We want them to keep working for you until that 8"+ is gone for good.
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Kelly

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2011, 07:59:04 AM »
How long does a fill in those socks last?

That's what I am wondering. Do you have to trudge out in thigh-deep snow and try to remove them? If so, how often?

They sound like they work well, but not without a lot of effort.

Cougar

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Re: HELP! Ice dams
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2011, 02:39:23 AM »
So far, the sausages appear to still have enough ice melt in them.  I haven't had any more leaks.  But here comes another 4-8 inches of snow.  I guess the proof will be in the pudding, when all the melt starts again.  I'd need to carry out the ladder (too much for my back hence the hiring of Marco) to put more up.

I was thinking today, next winter I might have sausages ready to go and placed up there before the first big snowstorm, just to see if it prevents the problem in the first place.  But so far, so good.
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