I've got a pathetically short little vent on the roof of my house that the
upstairs bathroom fan is attached to. The house also has a very shallow
pitch, so it collects a lot of snow rather than shedding it. It only takes
3 or 4 inches of snow cover to completely submerge the vent - this means its
melting snow - which caused an ice dam and water to back up last year (our
first year in the house).
so this year, i'm playing safe - have a ladder and roof rake at the ready on
the deck so that if it snows any significant amount, I can clear an area
around the vent so it doesn't cause another ice dam.
problem - my wife doesn't listen. on a few occaisions now we'd had notable
snowfall - and yet she still used the fan in the morning. yes - I now have
a buildup of ice downstream from the vent (which is about 4 feet from the
eave of the house). there is a bare spot of about 12" round from her using
it again this morning!! I'm now worried if we go much further with it,
we'll for sure have another ice dam...
1. other than expensive and clumsy electric wire solutions, what can I use
to perform a 1-time thawing of this ice buildup - just so it doesn't allow
an ice dam to form? I was thinking about a chemical ice melter. I've seen
them recommend it for roofs before....
2. there is such a thing as a much taller bathroom vent, right? what is a
typical charge for a roofer to come in and replace the crappy small one with
one of substantially more height? (I'd need one about 14" tall if possible)
I'm looking for a ballpark so the roofer doesn't try and rip me off.
3. since the situation is much "after the fact", installing de-icing cables
will be a pain, if not impossible. any other solutions to opening up the
area right in front of the vent....in case wifey forgets /yet again/
thanks for all the insight...