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Old 01-31-13, 12:01 AM   #1
SolarUtah
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Default Ice Melt Systems to prevent roof Ice Dams

Just got my electric bill for the month of January . $102 is the highest ever paid for January. I calculated that $40 of that was running the Ice Melt system on the roof for every day of the month since we had extreme cold, snow and ice here in Utah.

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas to lessen the cost to melt the roof ice. Right now I run the system on a timer that only runs 8 hours out of every 24. And the heat cabling is rated for 1200 watts.

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Old 01-31-13, 08:21 AM   #2
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Fix the air from your house that is getting into the attic, be sure to get enough insulation up there, and ensure proper venting. Then get rid of the heat cables. Cost for melting roof ice, removed.
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Old 01-31-13, 08:39 PM   #3
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Hi,
We have a recurring problem with ice dams on one part of our roof.

I've did as much as possible on the insulation front, but still got the ice dams.

What I found works is to get a "roof rake" and use it to pull the snow off the roof above the area where we get the ice dams. Works very well.

Here is one of them: Amazon.com: Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake With 24-Inch Blade: Patio, Lawn & Garden

It goes surprisingly fast as gravity is on your side.

But, not to practical for two story houses.

Gary
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Old 02-01-13, 08:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
Fix the air from your house that is getting into the attic, be sure to get enough insulation up there, and ensure proper venting. Then get rid of the heat cables. Cost for melting roof ice, removed.
hear, hear. Good point....
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Old 02-03-13, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
Fix the air from your house that is getting into the attic, be sure to get enough insulation up there, and ensure proper venting. Then get rid of the heat cables. Cost for melting roof ice, removed.
This is true even in hard core serious snow country. I had a house in Houghton, MI that had ice dam problems when I bought it. After fixing the heat loss, the ice dams were gone. Even with several feet of snow on the roof.
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Old 05-29-13, 05:49 PM   #6
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agreed with what others said RE: fix air leaks.

2 more things you should consider: (1) raise the "R" value on your attic insulation to as high as possible, anything over R48 would be highly desirable; (b) revise your roofing ventilation with additional roof vents and enough soffit vents to rid of the trapped air (most likely warmer air in the attic when compared to the outside) to promote proper air circulation, moisture and temperature equalisation.

This is what I used to perform calculation on my roof ventilation:

http://www.airvent.com/pdf/literature/PAVbooklet.pdf

Once you have all of these done, you shouldn't have to worry about ice dam anymore.

Q-TD

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