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  • #16
    I used to work in the industrial valve industry.
    Lots of valves got sold to process chemical plants around Buffalo NY.
    Linde / Union Carbide, Ashland Oil, big customers.
    We sold Raychem heat cables and their hot melt shrink tube termination kits.
    Raychem use slightly conductive plastic/rubber between the conductors
    to generate heat from resistance.
    Just cut to length, and no need to loop the circuit.
    Industrial rated and foolproof. If I put an 120volt electrical wire in my gutters
    or roof (in water), I would want the best stuff available. Getting shocked or
    burning half my roof on fire is bad. Cheap heat tapes? Not for me.
    And you buy Raychem heat tape by the foot. Order the 1000 foot spool
    if you want to. But no one here is going to buy the good stuff.
    You are all too cheap, and would rather gamble on frustration and fire
    than spend a penny on prevention and piece of mind. But hey, ya gotta
    whizz with the wang you brang.

    -Doozer
    DZER

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Mike279 View Post
      Thirty plus years ago I made my roof a cold roof by fully ventilating the eves, installing insulating channels and then putting a ridge vent at the top. Then I fully insulated the attic space as best I could. I never get an ice dam. That is the best way hands down, something your roofer has no interest in telling you. You need to fully vent your soffit so the intake air is outside temperature. That way any heat loss from the house goes out the ridge. When outside temps rise the snow melts evenly and cannot form a dam. I have had up to 4 ft of snow on the roof and in those rare instances, I prefer to lessen the snow load by removing some. I can find some ice like pellets on the shingle area but it's evenly distributed and never any dam like areas.
      Several years ago when I put aluminum fascia and soffit around the house I added several more vent holes and used the perforated aluminum where the vent holes were.
      But I have a different problem here......... the heat pipes for the floors and baseboard radiators are in the attic. In the front of the house the heat pipes run close to the edge of the roof line.
      The pipes are well insulated but that doesn't matter as there is still heat loss through any insulation. So I'm basically screwed as far as that goes.

      JL.............

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by thin-woodsman View Post

        About $150 a foot. Called a "snow belt" I think - not quite as complicated as the one in that link. This one seems pretty straightforward, somewhat like heated flashing. I was worried an ice dam would form above it, but that hasn't been the case despite many opportunities. Not quite sure why, I'm sure the builder explained it to me back when I was uncertain of whether to pay the cost.

        If it ever does break, though, that'snot gonna be fun.
        I guess this is why I've never seen nor heard of this stuff before. at that price 60 ft. would cost about $9000. Maybe in a commercial building but not for the average homeowner.

        JL................

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
          "...to keep water from backing up behind the ice dam and seeping under the shingles which would ruin the wall."

          Don't they use tar paper under the shingles in northern climates? It is the first thing they put down on every roof I have ever done myself or seen done. For flat roofs they "mop" it together with hot pitch so it forms a water tight layer under whatever the upper surface is.




          Yes, they use the felt paper under the shingles here, always have but now roofers are using this... https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/r...s/titanium-udl

          It's much lighter and stronger and it comes in 6' wider rolls vs the 3' felt paper. But when the water backs up to the over lap it'll run under it and drip inside somewhere.

          I've never seen a roofer "hot mop" the seams of tar paper together. I'm sure it's been done on roofs with a known problem.

          JL.............

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by RMinMN View Post

            Tar paper is not waterproof. It slows the entry but doesn't stop it. In some cities the use of a rubber membrane (which is much more expensive than tar paper) is required for the first 3 feet from the edge of the roof. Even then, nailing the shingles will poke holes in the membrane.
            This is the stuff they use around the edges of roof lines now. https://www.iko.com/na/learning-cent...ter-protector/ The roofer ran two rows of it when he did my roof. I told him I didn't like the idea of it and he should stick with one 3 ft. wide strip. This stuff has sticks right to the plywood. It's pretty sticky and gooey on the adhesive side and I doubt any water would leak around any nails. I should have told the roofers to run the ice and water over the entire roof. Then it would have been 100% sealed, like a rubber roof.

            I had thought of insulating the attic roof, but that's a lot of interior attic to insulate.

            JL.................
            Last edited by JoeLee; 02-20-2021, 10:04 PM.

            Comment


            • #21
              Here in CT we get ice dams occasionally. The most serious was in 2011 when several buildings in town collapsed from the snow load. Walmart used a snow blower to clear their roof, the only time I've seen that done.

              In researching what to do about the ice dam on our roof in 2011 I ran across a document from the Canadian government which described useful things people did during the "Great Canadian Ice Storm of 1998". One suggestion was to get a heat cable and a wood 1x3; form 2' to 3' loops of heat cable along the length of the 1x3. Toss the 1x3 behind the ice dam with the loops hanging over the gutter. I did this and over night the cable cut 1/2" wide channels in the ice dam, allowing the water to drain. Once the snow melted I removed the setup and stored the tape for future use - thankfully it hasn't been needed again yet... So, if you're in a location where Ice dams occur only occasionally you might consider this.

              Also, prior to 2011 I hadn't heard of a "snow rake" but they were suddenly popular - and suddenly VERY expensive - when this unusual weather occurred. We bought one the following summer when the excitement (and price) had died down -- and haven't opened the box, yet. It's a lot safer and easier than climbing on the roof to remove snow.

              John
              Location: Newtown, CT USA

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by GadgetBuilder View Post
                Here in CT we get ice dams occasionally. The most serious was in 2011 when several buildings in town collapsed from the snow load. Walmart used a snow blower to clear their roof, the only time I've seen that done.

                In researching what to do about the ice dam on our roof in 2011 I ran across a document from the Canadian government which described useful things people did during the "Great Canadian Ice Storm of 1998". One suggestion was to get a heat cable and a wood 1x3; form 2' to 3' loops of heat cable along the length of the 1x3. Toss the 1x3 behind the ice dam with the loops hanging over the gutter. I did this and over night the cable cut 1/2" wide channels in the ice dam, allowing the water to drain. Once the snow melted I removed the setup and stored the tape for future use - thankfully it hasn't been needed again yet... So, if you're in a location where Ice dams occur only occasionally you might consider this.

                Also, prior to 2011 I hadn't heard of a "snow rake" but they were suddenly popular - and suddenly VERY expensive - when this unusual weather occurred. We bought one the following summer when the excitement (and price) had died down -- and haven't opened the box, yet. It's a lot safer and easier than climbing on the roof to remove snow.

                John
                I have used a snow rake on my outbuildings, all with metal roofs. I found muscles I didn't know I had the next few days as I would have to lift that snow rake and pull down just a little part of the snow on the roof. Last winter we had a lot of heavy snow and instead of using the roof rake to rake the snow down, I beat the rake part out flat and pop-riveted it to the handle. Now I turn it on edge to cut into the snow, then pull it back and lay it flat to go under the snow and I can bring big chunks down a little and let them slide the rest of the way off the roof. somewhat like these but without the plastic slid part.

                https://www.amazon.com/Avalanche-Ori...a-571233396178

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                  I used to work in the industrial valve industry.
                  Lots of valves got sold to process chemical plants around Buffalo NY.
                  Linde / Union Carbide, Ashland Oil, big customers.
                  We sold Raychem heat cables and their hot melt shrink tube termination kits.
                  Raychem use slightly conductive plastic/rubber between the conductors
                  to generate heat from resistance.
                  Just cut to length, and no need to loop the circuit.
                  -Doozer
                  Thx for the tip -- my old employer used to use them. Too bad most of us don't have corporate credit accounts.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I know the cold roof solution is not always possible but it is a very simple and relatively cheap permanent solution. I would explore the cold roof details a bit closer as it sounds like you do not have enough air coming in at the soffits. There are formulas for the vent areas square footage that must be met. Valleys may limit your total air input and those heating pipes may have some effect like you said. There are other solutions that will be permanent like foam sprayed in the attic space. It is not in your favor that you have a new roof as doing the job right may entail removing some roof panels to spray the foam. I would explore building solutions in cold climates to see if there are any good scenarios you could adapt to your particular situation. I have seen the foam done in one remodel and it was a combination of closed and open with results that were extremely good. No ice dams at all on that one. The joke was you could heat the place with a candle The reality is it was not cheap or easy.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by GadgetBuilder View Post
                      Here in CT we get ice dams occasionally. The most serious was in 2011 when several buildings in town collapsed from the snow load. Walmart used a snow blower to clear their roof, the only time I've seen that done.

                      In researching what to do about the ice dam on our roof in 2011 I ran across a document from the Canadian government which described useful things people did during the "Great Canadian Ice Storm of 1998". One suggestion was to get a heat cable and a wood 1x3; form 2' to 3' loops of heat cable along the length of the 1x3. Toss the 1x3 behind the ice dam with the loops hanging over the gutter. I did this and over night the cable cut 1/2" wide channels in the ice dam, allowing the water to drain. Once the snow melted I removed the setup and stored the tape for future use - thankfully it hasn't been needed again yet... So, if you're in a location where Ice dams occur only occasionally you might consider this.

                      Also, prior to 2011 I hadn't heard of a "snow rake" but they were suddenly popular - and suddenly VERY expensive - when this unusual weather occurred. We bought one the following summer when the excitement (and price) had died down -- and haven't opened the box, yet. It's a lot safer and easier than climbing on the roof to remove snow.

                      John
                      That's a pretty good idea........ I think I'll try that. This avoids the permanent installation issue. I could put them up in the late fall and plug them in when needed.
                      Throw them up on the roof in my two worst problem areas and see what happens. I could do it now if I wanted to but were supposed to be getting temps around 40 deg. this week so that should melt most of the snow off the roof and open up the ice dams.
                      For me, before ice damming doesn't become a problem until I get about a foot of snow or more on the roof with no thawing days for an extended period of time.
                      Glad I started this post. I knew I'd get some useful idea here.

                      TNX............. JL................

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Mike279 View Post
                        I know the cold roof solution is not always possible but it is a very simple and relatively cheap permanent solution. I would explore the cold roof details a bit closer as it sounds like you do not have enough air coming in at the soffits. There are formulas for the vent areas square footage that must be met. Valleys may limit your total air input and those heating pipes may have some effect like you said. There are other solutions that will be permanent like foam sprayed in the attic space. It is not in your favor that you have a new roof as doing the job right may entail removing some roof panels to spray the foam. I would explore building solutions in cold climates to see if there are any good scenarios you could adapt to your particular situation. I have seen the foam done in one remodel and it was a combination of closed and open with results that were extremely good. No ice dams at all on that one. The joke was you could heat the place with a candle The reality is it was not cheap or easy.
                        I have all the air circulation I can get with soffit and ridge vents, aside from installing some type of power vent / fan to help draw in more cold air.

                        The thing that I don't get is the guy down the street from me has radiant heat in his ceilings through out his whole house and he doesn't have an ice problem.
                        My radiant heat is in the floor where it should be for efficiency reasons. I never did understand the concept of putting it in the ceiling. Heat rises !

                        JL..................

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by old mart View Post
                          Save the planet by heating your roof. Why can't people just build houses with steep enough roofs so that the snow just slides off?
                          I have 12 - 12 pitch roof and currently have about foot of snow on it, what pitch have you had actual experience with that works ie "just slides off" ? and what was the roof material?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The only roof that snow "just slides off" is a copper-plated church spire. In my part of the world, (Buffalo NY area) we are known for our snow, and the building codes all specify how a roof must be done to withstand the weight. Same for the depth of foundations, the legal minimum here is 5 feet, because that's how far the ground freezes.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by old mart View Post
                              Save the planet by heating your roof. Why can't people just build houses with steep enough roofs so that the snow just slides off?
                              Money. It takes more material to build a steeper roof. More lumber and more roofing material. More siding, bricks, etc material to finish the gable ends too. In addition more labor. It is relatively easy to nail shingles or other material on a 4/12 roof from above. For a 9/12 or steeper roof it takes roof brackets and planks and working from below slowly nailing the shingles.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Imagine putting a steep roof on a Walmart, or the local GM factory. It would look like the Kremlin.

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