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jeffw_00 08-10-2011 10:31 AM

ice wires vs ice belts?
Hi - granted that either should be a last resort, I'm wondering what people think of these 2 options. From what i read, home-improvement-store ice wires are cr-p, and professional-grade/installed are pricer than the ice belts (which is a 3' strip of aluminum). My roofer likes the wires, I like the belts because the belts are passive. My roof, however is barely 1-4 pitch, so I'm not 100% sure the belts will work. (I have really BAD ice dams on my 24' overhangs - it's like the roof was -designed- for ice dams there).

thanks in advance!

jeffw_00 08-12-2011 08:48 AM

no one?

shazapple 08-12-2011 09:41 AM

By ice belt I assume you are referring to a strip of prefinished steel at the eaves instead of shingles (never heard of it being referred to as an ice belt). They work well to keep icicles and snow off the edge, but I doubt they would help much in terms of ice dams.

For that all you need is good ventilation, and ice and water shield from the eave until 1m up the roof beyond the exterior wall. :thumbsup:

jeffw_00 08-12-2011 10:08 AM

Ice belt is 3 foot wide aluminum strip along the edge of the roof (I have a 2' overhang). already have 10-12' of ice/water barrier, ridge/soffit vents, and insulation on attic floor. But roof is a bit below 1-4 pitch and I still get blocks of ice on the overhang.

AGWhitehouse 08-12-2011 10:31 AM

"ice belts" are passive and "ice wires" are not. Northern climates use the 3' metal edge all the time because of ice damming. it doesn't allow the ice to really stick and if it does, then a simple bump and it slides off. The wire approach will require electrical, which costs $, but will allow you to keep shingles all the way down your roof. Also you can add the wires in an afternoon. It'll take a day or two to add the metal sheeting.

jeffw_00 08-12-2011 11:16 AM

I can do that level of electrical myself, but my concern with consumer-grade ice wires is that I don't think they last many seasons (corrosion, etc), and, of course, you have to remember to turn them on and off. The roofer is giving me a very good price on the belts (says it will take only a day to run about 60') my main concern is with a minimum pitch - will gravity work? I don't want to be going up there to "bump" them...


AGWhitehouse 08-12-2011 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by jeffw_00 (Post 705693)
my main concern is with a minimum pitch - will gravity work? I don't want to be going up there to "bump" them...

Don't know for sure how they'll perform in acutal conditions. We don't use the metal in my area.

Remember that time is $. The wire will cost $ but require no time or worry of yours aside from every few years replacing them. The metal may require observational time and "bump" time, but won't cost $ to operate.

jeffw_00 08-12-2011 11:39 AM

Yeah - it's a tough call. the metal may work great, whereas I KNOW that the wires require operation (on/off) and maintenance.

Thanks - much to think about

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