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Old 02-12-2015, 06:49 PM   #1
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


I live in Westchester NY and I have an ice dam. I want to know if it's possible to steam the dam without spending a lot of money. I could do it myself. All I can find are these gargantuan machines that cost 1000s. Isn't there something I can buy for like less than 100 that will create enough steam to melt channels in an ice dam?

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Old 02-12-2015, 06:55 PM   #2
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


Hook a hose to your hot water heater. I have used a real steam cleaner. It would destroy your roof.

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Old 02-12-2015, 07:06 PM   #3
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


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Hook a hose to your hot water heater. I have used a real steam cleaner. It would destroy your roof.
I have even used cold water and it worked quite well. It probably took longer than using hot water but it did work. I simply tossed the hose up onto the roof starting near the edge so as to not cause water to leak into the building and let it run for awhile.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:11 PM   #4
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


If you have ice dams, that is a sign of a complicated roof drainage pattern or a lack of proper roof vents at the eaves.

I had some ice build-up on the roof and gutters and eliminated the problem by replacing the old "gimmick" junk with new seamless gutters (over sized) with no gutter guards. - It is amazing what the sun and free flowing can do to eliminate ice problems. We only get an average of 45" of snow here (MN) and a record of about 2-3 times that, so your conditions might be worse, especially with wet snow and warmer temps.

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Old 02-13-2015, 03:32 PM   #5
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


Thanks guys. I put some salt and calcium chloride mix up there for now. Hopefully I don't hear any drips tonight. Has anyone ever used the pellets?
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:53 PM   #6
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


We've used regular ice melt in some gutters before, worked pretty good.

If it's an on going problem heat cables work great. They cost a lot for the good ones but it's a one time cost that will last 10-20 years.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:52 PM   #7
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


Remember to check your attic for mold in the spring and throughout the summer. Had this happen to us and when we went to sell had to take care of mold.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:09 AM   #8
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


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We've used regular ice melt in some gutters before, worked pretty good.

If it's an on going problem heat cables work great. They cost a lot for the good ones but it's a one time cost that will last 10-20 years.
Thanks but it's not a one time cost here, unfortunately. In the past something has chewed through the cables' insulation at the downspouts. I suspect mice. I don't use cables anymore it's too much trouble.
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Old 02-14-2015, 03:55 AM   #9
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


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Thanks but it's not a one time cost here, unfortunately. In the past something has chewed through the cables' insulation at the downspouts. I suspect mice. I don't use cables anymore it's too much trouble.
If you ever have to contend with mold in the walls and attic you may become a believer in "good" heat cable already mentioned. At one time it could be purchased with a stainless sheath.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:28 AM   #10
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


I've heard of placing the ice melt into a nylon stocking and laying that across the ice dam---seems like an idea that would work well---
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:07 AM   #11
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I've heard of placing the ice melt into a nylon stocking and laying that across the ice dam---seems like an idea that would work well---
Thanks I actually tried that over two windows. I tied a string on the end so I could direct it after I flung it up there. It was difficult because they kept sliding right off. I finally got both up there but one fell off overnight. The one that stayed up there seems to have done something. Both were perpendicular to the gutter.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:19 AM   #12
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


Use the hot water heater and a hose
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:19 AM   #13
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


Connect the hose to the hot-watertank
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:36 AM   #14
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


is ice melter (not salt) corrosive ? i', thinking its not, but idk. anyway, that is what i would try. just throw some up there.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:02 AM   #15
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Is it possible to steam an ice dam without spending a lot?


With water heaters having a dip tube approaching the bottom, hot water from the drain will be short lived.

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