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how do you de-ice eavestrough?

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  • Feb 2nd, 2009 1:23 pm
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[OP]
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Jun 1, 2006
398 posts
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how do you de-ice eavestrough?

back of house gets little sun, and eavestrough and downspouts are iced up solid. its gonna be +7 next week. im worried about ice not melting in time to run off versus rapid water coming off of a snow filled roof (and forecasted rain too) should i be worried about water backing up into roof, or will nature take its course? anyone have any pointers.....i have heard of the eavestrough heaters, but will they help the downspouts, or melt it quick enough.....bit worried here
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Mar 24, 2008
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The quickest way if they are currently completely iced up is to use the typical rock salt or a de-icing agent.

I had an issue a few years ago with an ice dam that started to ruin the ceiling in one room and it was a roofer that was the only willing person to get up there to see where the damage was.

A few 10lb bags of salt and the ice was all cleared up. Just remember NOT to leave the salt in the eaves, as it will corrode aluminum. :cheesygri
The only place you're going to find a helping hand, is at he end of your own wrist. Joe Mondello
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May 31, 2007
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Techhead wrote:
Jan 30th, 2009 3:21 pm
A few 10lb bags of salt and the ice was all cleared up. Just remember NOT to leave the salt in the eaves, as it will corrode aluminum. :cheesygri
I did something similar a year ago and when spring arrived and I decided to clean the salt out of my eavestroughs with a garden hose it was too late, the corrosion caused by the salt already was well underway. I definitely wouldn't recommend this method unless you can clean up the salt fairly quickly, but who can in the dead of winter when things are frozen?
Jr. Member
Aug 2, 2008
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claringtonca
they are called tracer wires you lay them inside and plug em in but it is a bit
late in the season you could be in for a shock
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2002
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Toronto
this brings an interesting question..

in most cases, ice damns and icicles on your house are due to poor insulation in the attic. Ice/snow melts from the heat loss, and refreezes by the time it gets to the eavestroughs..

the best solution is to fix the source of the heat loss.

But assuming that you have great insulation, and no heat loss (got lots of air ducts in the roof/sofits open/etc) is it still possible to get icicles to form??
Member
Sep 26, 2008
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Orleans
leonk wrote:
Jan 30th, 2009 8:32 pm
But assuming that you have great insulation, and no heat loss (got lots of air ducts in the roof/sofits open/etc) is it still possible to get icicles to form??
Definitely. I was having major problems with giant icicles and complete freezing of the eaves on the side of my unheated garage. Upon inspection in the spring, I noticed there was a patch job at one of the inside corners that seemed to be creating a bit of a dam effect. Replaced the whole section of eavestrough and hoped that was the end of it. Still had icicles the following winter (last winter) although they weren't as big and we had a record snowfall. :mad:

So far so good this winter, though. However, this fall during a particularly heavy rainstorm I noticed the eaves were literally overflowing. Turns out there was a big leaf clog at the downspout and only a little bit of water was draining.
Member
Apr 12, 2008
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Toronto
I have an area over my front door that gets iced up each winter. I usually try to brush out the eaves with each snowfall with the hope that the sun will hit the exposed shingles above it and create a snow/ice-free area.

That usually works but I didn't do that this year so I had icicles galore over the front door. Last Friday daytime was above zero, so when I got home I filled buckets with hot water and spent 45 minutes melting out the eaves. I could do it because it was a small area and a first-story roof. And it was a messy, wet job.
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Jan 4, 2007
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leonk wrote:
Jan 30th, 2009 8:32 pm
this brings an interesting question..

in most cases, ice damns and icicles on your house are due to poor insulation in the attic. Ice/snow melts from the heat loss, and refreezes by the time it gets to the eavestroughs..

the best solution is to fix the source of the heat loss.

But assuming that you have great insulation, and no heat loss (got lots of air ducts in the roof/sofits open/etc) is it still possible to get icicles to form??
That's not necessarily the case this year. About 90% of the houses in my area have this problem, most quite severely. This includes houses built in the last few years. Oddly enough houses about 100 years old seem less affected.
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Nov 16, 2003
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I had ice dams a few years ago, upgraded our insulatio. This year I am kinda concern too, i see icicles forming again, but some are from the soffits, so water is already inside :( no visible damage on ceiling yet, but comes spring we might see some. I put som salt on the eaves the past few weeks, it's helpin a little but tons of snow on the roof.


I didn't know Alumnium can rust, or be damaged by salt :(
[OP]
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Jun 1, 2006
398 posts
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funny thing is i called a eavestrough company and they told me to put salt in it..............i guess better business for him in the long run!
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Neb wrote:
Jan 31st, 2009 10:39 am
I had ice dams a few years ago, upgraded our insulatio. This year I am kinda concern too, i see icicles forming again, but some are from the soffits, so water is already inside :( no visible damage on ceiling yet, but comes spring we might see some. I put som salt on the eaves the past few weeks, it's helpin a little but tons of snow on the roof.


I didn't know Alumnium can rust, or be damaged by salt :(
Same problems here too. Just spent a ton on additional insulation and venting and the icicles are back. I have those de-ice cables up too.I am waiting to see if there will be water inside.
Yes oh yes, aluminum can corrode. Turns it to powder. Salt is the worst enemy of aluminum.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Feb 1st, 2009 4:15 pm
Same problems here too. Just spent a ton on additional insulation and venting and the icicles are back. I have those de-ice cables up too.I am waiting to see if there will be water inside.
Yes oh yes, aluminum can corrode. Turns it to powder. Salt is the worst enemy of aluminum.
so it will eat through the aluminum?
[OP]
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Jun 1, 2006
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i wonder if the "green" salt is ok? the ones that r ok for walkways, grass etc....
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Neb wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2009 11:47 am
so it will eat through the aluminum?
In a heartbeat, if there are any areas that are untreated (no paint or finish). Aluminum turns into powder when corroding. Aircraft are made primarily of aluminum and the industry spends gazziilions of dollars to clean, remove, treat, and prevent corrosion.
jonnyyaa wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2009 12:00 pm
i wonder if the "green" salt is ok? the ones that r ok for walkways, grass etc....
It depends on what it is made of. Some is Urea, some is other proprietary chemical composition. While it may be OK for your grass and sidewalk, it may be no good for metals.
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