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Bud (Bud)
Intermediate Member
Username: Bud

Post Number: 31
Registered: 02-2010
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with Old School, ice dams are typically caused by a thaw/freeze process caused from warm air escaping the living space. I am sure you know this stuff....

Look hard a RayChem, it is expensive however it is the real deal, not a plug it in the wall system. It is hard wired to the panel box, controlled by a thermostat, etc.
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 536
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Turn the heat way down when you are not there and the snow will not melt on the roof. Ice buildup is a function of the heat inside the house getting into the attic space. No heat or very little and the ice is very little too!
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Mark_g (Mark_g)
New member
Username: Mark_g

Post Number: 7
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 03:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the feedback.

I neglected to mention that it's a weekend house, so there will be days, and possibly weeks, where it wd be unattended. So we thought some kind of auto system wd be worth the investment. Choice seems to narrow to temp only, or humidity and temp (much more expensive). Or maybe there's another option we're not aware of?

--Mark
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 535
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 09:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I personally would install a system with an on / off switch that has a light on it when it is on. Put the switch somewhere near where you can see it and when the roof needs it, turn it on. Who knows more than you would.

If you have a lighted switch, you will know when it is left on too and you can turn it off. I would get the heavy cables instead of the lightweight ones. Much better, and they can run on 220 also.
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Mark_g (Mark_g)
New member
Username: Mark_g

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 - 08:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

New construction in NY State with Nu-Lok slate roof.

House was framed and dried in last winter, but unheated. We had issues with ice damming at certain valleys--it seemed that there was not enough daylight and what thawed refroze over night--so feel the need to add a small amount of heat cable in the most trouble-prone areas for secondary insurance.

I'm not big on using electricity to solve these kinds of problems, and there's a chance that once the house is insulated and heated, that the problem will improve (but who knows, it could get worse). We are also changing snow guards and modifying gutters as primary means to address the problem.

We have an option of two types of controllers: one that is only temperature-driven (energizes cables when temps fall below freezing), or temp & humidity (there must be presence of moisture in gutter in addition sub-freezing temps). The second system is a lot more expensive.

I wd appreciate feedback from anyone who has had experience with these types of controls--what do you recommend?

Thanks, Mark

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