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Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ice Dams Do's and Don'ts

Other Options for Ice Dams by Paul Fisette

Sometimes it is not feasible to treat the cause of the house's problems, and you must treat the symptoms. Steeply pitched metal roofs (common in snow country) in a sense thumb their noses at ice dams. They are slippery enough to shed snow before it causes an ice problem. However, metal roofs are expensive and they are no substitute for adequate levels of insulation.

Self-sticking rubberized sheets can go under roof shingles wherever water could pond against an ice dam: above the eaves, around chimneys, in valleys, around skylights, and around vent stacks. If water leaks through the roof covering, the waterproof underlayment provides a second line of defense.

Sheet-metal ice belts can help, if a shiny 2-ft-wide metal strip along the edge of the roof is acceptable. Ice or snow belts are used for some patch-and-fix jobs on existing houses. The flashing, installed at the eaves, imitates metal roofing by shedding snow and ice before it causes a problem. It works-sometimes. The problem with ice belts is that a secondary ice dam often develops on the roof just above the top edge of the metal strip.

Placing electric heat tape in a zigzag arrangement on the shingles above the edge of the roof is a poor solution. I have never seen electrically heated cable actually fix an ice dam problem. The considerable amount of electricity it takes to prevent ice formation is expensive, and the heating must be done in anticipation of ice dam conditions, not afterwards. Over time, heat tape embrittles shingles, creating a fire risk. It's expensive to install, too, and water can leak through the cable fasteners. Often the cables create ice dams just above them. Don't waste time or money on this retrofit.

The worst of all solutions is shoveling snow and chipping ice from the edge of a roof. People attack mounds of snow and roof ice with hammers, shovels, ice picks, homemade snow rakes, crowbars, and chain saws! The theory is obvious. No snow or ice, no leaking water. Unfortunately, this method threatens life, limb, and roof.


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