Does anyone have a remedy to unclogging a downspot that is fully clogged
with ice? One of the downspouts on my house is so backed up that droplets of
water are now trickling down (from the warm afternoon sun) and ice is
forming on the whole outside of the spout .
I'm not much of a handy person and, if it becomes necessary, who/where
(i.e.what tradesmen) could I find someone to correct a problem like this?
Appreciate any comments/feedback.
hinterlands of Ontario (GTA)
You can also buy a Heat Tape, it's a wirey cord that you can wrap around the
gutter to heat it up. They are normally used to keep pipes from freezing,
look in the plumbing section. I'm not sure but I think someone even makes a
heat tape especially for laying in the gutter.
Heat tape would work. However, if this is just a temporary thing get
one of those little magnetic block heaters for automobile oil pans.
Any auto parts store in cold country should sell them. They are meant
for attaching to your oil pan and keeping it warm in extreme cold.
Stick it on the downspout at the lowest point of the freeze and move
it every so often and it might work. Or you might try a propane torch
but be careful.
On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 01:35:10 GMT, "Tinderstick"
Personally, I have tried both salt and antifreeze. I prefer salt. The
antifreeze was left over in the garage from the previous owner. The product
was sold for this purpose. I am not sure about the environmental impact and
with such a small amount.
For a long term solution, you can install Roof De-Icing Cable(s). After all
the ice has melted, drop the cable inside the gutters and all the way down
the sprouts. Switch the de-icing cable "on" only at freezing or above
freezing temperature. I use a remote switch. The one you use for the outdoor
Aslo check the following web page:
Last year, we took the downspout apart and soaked it in the tub. You didn't
say how big the section was, so this might not work for you. Luckily we
didn't have a screw holding that section to the next higher section or it
may have been more difficult. We did have to use a hair dryer for quite a
few minutes to loosen the section. I'm told that hot water freezes more
quickly than cold, so pouring it over the gutters will compound the problem.
After you've fixed it, make sure that you keep the downspout's egress point
clear of snow as best you can, make sure there's a good angle on any angled
sections so gravity can keep that water moving, and make sure it's not lying
in a puddle or a low spot. The puddle is what happened to us.
You don't need a tradesman for this. But how much you end up doing kinda
depends on how much you want to go climbing up on a ladder in the snow
and freezing your buns off, and how much you don't.
if you want to do it the right way, your priority will be to melt or
chop the ice dam that's gumming up the downspout where the downspout is.
A whole variety of melting methods abound, from piling on a mess of
salt, that white ice-melt stuff, fertilizer, etc., or hacking away with
a hammer and cheisel.
If you want to do it the lazy guy's way without the ladder business,
wait until a good 35-40 degree day when the ice and snow are melting and
bang on the sucker a bunch of times until the ice comes out the end of
Pretty much up to you.
Well the antifreeze really didn't do a thing except sit, and freeze I
suppose, on the horizontal eavesdrough that drains to the vertical
downspout!?! None of the antifreeze made it down to ground level.
The downspout is approx 25 ft long and the whole spout is frozen over with a
solid block of ice. And unfortunately the ladder I have does not reach high
enough - don't ask how on how I managed to get the anti freeze in, ahem,
opening the living room window, standing on the window sill, and (barely)
reaching up & over to deposit a cup of anti freeze into the eavesdrough!. I
believe that because that the whole span of the 25 ft spout is frozen solid
with the ice, I really don't have any chance of effectively melting it
down!?? The temperatures at night have been constant over the last few
nights at about -15 celsius (approx 2 F), and the suggestion of the heat
wire will not do the trick. Depositing salts, nitrogen fertilzier sounds
like an option but I guess that I'd need to place them at the top opening of
the downspout which I can't reach with my ladder (I'm planning on asking my
neighbours this weekend if they have a tall ladder).
Again I appreciate all of you taking the time to respond to my call, thanks
well its going to cost some money but try this, hook up a hose to the hot
water and spray it at the roof above the spout!
also, in my house I removed the bottom bend of the spout and with a couple
good smack's large chunks came out!
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