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Old 01-14-2011, 09:11 PM   #1
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Frozen Gutters??


I live in N.W. Alabama in a "new to me" home. We have had an unusual event in that we got 11" of snow and it has been below freezing for 4 or 5 days. Now the snow is slowley melting with temperatures in the lower thirties today and expected to be low to mid 40's tomarrow and through the weekend.
I still have a lot of snow on my roof and when it has been melting, the water has frozen in all my north downspouts. Two are frozen solid in the bottom 5 or 6 feet.
I know this is not a serious problem, for now, but I was just wondering what do people do to prevent or correct this situation in areas where this is common.
My concern is all the weight on the gutter system if they can't drain.

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Old 01-14-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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Frozen Gutters??


My guess is that your gutters are mounted just like mine up north, and they will survive just fine.
You should probably be more concerned with ice dams http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...ng/dk1068.html
At least, up here, our building codes require ice/water shield on our roofs. But then, I don't think there is anything you can do about it at this point, except wait for a few days of nice weather for everything to melt and dry up.
As the song goes,... "don't woryy, be happy"

Steve

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Old 01-14-2011, 09:42 PM   #3
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Throw some calcium chloride up on the roof. It will help speed up the ice dam melting. Don't use rock salt unless it is above 25 deg F.

Bob
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
I live in N.W. Alabama in a "new to me" home. We have had an unusual event in that we got 11" of snow and it has been below freezing for 4 or 5 days. Now the snow is slowley melting with temperatures in the lower thirties today and expected to be low to mid 40's tomarrow and through the weekend.
I still have a lot of snow on my roof and when it has been melting, the water has frozen in all my north downspouts. Two are frozen solid in the bottom 5 or 6 feet.
I know this is not a serious problem, for now, but I was just wondering what do people do to prevent or correct this situation in areas where this is common.
My concern is all the weight on the gutter system if they can't drain.
In my area, we have had unusually heavy snow-fall this year. (4 feet in 48 hours) I have seen several instances, of where the gutters have been ripped off and even some where the fascia was ripped off also. So you are right to be concerned about ice buildup.
I had a problem with iced gutters at the front of my house. To resolve this I ran heating cable up the down-spout and then along the gutter.
I had to install an electrical outlet with a GFCI receptical to supply power for the cable. It had to be a separate circuit as the cable drew 1500 watts.

Last edited by Wildie; 01-14-2011 at 10:06 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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In my area, we have had unusually heavy snow-fall this year. (4 feet in 48 hours) I have seen several instances, of where the gutters have been ripped off and even some where the fascia was ripped off also. So you are right to be concerned about ice buildup.
I had a problem with iced gutters at the front of my house. To resolve this I ran heating cable up the down-spout and then along the gutter.
I had to install an electrical outlet with a GFCI receptical to supply power for the cable. It had to be a separate circuit as the cable drew 1500 watts.
Well---you may have answered a question the PO could not answer. These gutters are on the north side which is two stories. There is an outside outlet just under the overhang.
Bet that's what it's for
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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Arbitratily throwing deciers on the roof do liitle is the down spouts are frozen solid. Let is "burn" through the downspout ice and provide the melted room ice water can drain away. - Nothing wrong with snow on most of the roof since it is a sign the insulation is working and the circulation may be adequate.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:45 PM   #7
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Up here in New York I use calcium or magnesiun chloride all the time to melt ice dams. It's a good quick fix. Then keep the lower 4 ft of the roof clean if you can until spring, when we can fix it. Water flows down hill. In or out of the gutter. Gutters up here are a waste of time, and just a mess waiting to happen.

Who put the gutters on with out checking for Ice and snow guard??

Bob

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Arbitratily throwing deciers on the roof do liitle is the down spouts are frozen solid. Let is "burn" through the downspout ice and provide the melted room ice water can drain away. - Nothing wrong with snow on most of the roof since it is a sign the insulation is working and the circulation may be adequate.

Last edited by Hourglass52; 01-14-2011 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:30 PM   #8
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Contractors that hire every sub out to the lowest bid. Most homes are built in such, that the subs are paid by the house, not the number of hours. The roofing guy that did our roof (8 years old roof), was telling us stories about the upscale neighborhoods that had houses that were only a year old, and already had to go and replace the roof, because the subs did not use felt or Grace water/ice shield under the shingles. Most roofs in our town, are replaced on average within five years after on the cheaply built over priced house in the "Upscale" neighborhoods around here.

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Old 01-15-2011, 02:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
I live in N.W. Alabama in a "new to me" home. We have had an unusual event in that we got 11" of snow and it has been below freezing for 4 or 5 days. Now the snow is slowley melting with temperatures in the lower thirties today and expected to be low to mid 40's tomarrow and through the weekend.
I still have a lot of snow on my roof and when it has been melting, the water has frozen in all my north downspouts. Two are frozen solid in the bottom 5 or 6 feet.
I know this is not a serious problem, for now, but I was just wondering what do people do to prevent or correct this situation in areas where this is common.
My concern is all the weight on the gutter system if they can't drain.
Welcome to life in the Upper Midwest!

Everything these guys have been saying is good. But the bottom line is that, unless there's something wrong with you're gutters, they're going to be fine.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Frozen Gutters??


If frozen gutters is a rare occurrance for you, you don't really need to do anything. If it happens more then you like, put the warming cable at the edge of the roof and into the gutters and leaders. You can also buy the water sensor device so the unit won't turn on unless there are low temps and water.
Ron

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