Ice Dam Prevention

Hi,
Our annual problem with ice dams has outdone itself this year. They are doing damage when they fall and I am afraid someone could get hurt. I added insulation in the attic. They form before I can take the roof rake to them and that only reaches a part of the roof anyway. We have a cape so there is no easy way to add insulation to the lower roof. We did not have this problem for the first 15-20 years.
The remaining things I've seen are zig-zagged heating wires and metal panels at the edge of the roof. Does anyway have opinions on those or other suggestions?
Thanks, Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have used the ice melt cable for years. They work.
I've had ice dam problems that included water infiltration requiring tarps and buckets on all three floors. Once I put the wires up, I barely get any ice buildup.
I wired 2 dedicated exterior outlets (for the front and rear of the house) to a GFCI breaker and put a switch with a indicator light in the basement so I can tell if the wires are on from a distance.
They make automatic controllers, but I never took that step.
The downside? They make cleaner the gutters, something I have to do three times year, a bit of a pain. Considering the alternative, I'll live with that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've seen the wires on homes and also at my work. They do a good job to keep the area clear of ice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/18/2011 9:49 PM, Abby Brown wrote:

My house is new. It is very well insulated and the attic is very well ventilated. In the summer the attic does not get hot, in the winter the attic stays cold enough not to melt the snow on the roof above it. When the outside temperature warms up enough to melt the snow on the roof the entire roof surface is warm and water runs off the roof instead of freezing above the soffits which in your case are much colder than the roof above the attic space.
LdB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Maybe the attic isnt vented enough to keep it to outside temps
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.