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?
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.
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.
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