Thoughts on roof ice melt cables
We have an old farmhouse with a asphalt shingle roof. We always get an aweful ice dam on our second story on an "inside" corner. (hard to explain, sorry!) this must have been a problem before we bought the house because we saw, when we went up to fix the dam one year, that a previous owner had added more venting to the soffit and poked some "drainage" holes at some point.
This is the fifth year we have been in the house. We had the worst issues the first year and it hasn't been that bad since. We were thinking we may need a new roof this summer however we were also thinking that maybe we just need more insulation in the attic. However after comparing our house with others in the neighborhood I think we have sufficient insulation. Our entire roof has about 8 inches of snow still, while most of the other houses do not have any snow left at all on their roof! So I really wonder if adding more insulation will fix our problem.
So we are thinking about just adding ice melt cables on this part of the roof. When looking around I noticed most people do not have them and that we don't know anyone with them. Does anyone have these and find that they help prevent ice dams or not? Do most people not get them because they cost a lot to run?
right now we roof rake any areas of the roof we can reach and do not have problems elsewhere. Our house has gutters and we try to keep them clean. The roof appears to be in ok shape, besides this problem. The previous owners did not know the age of the roof. They only lived in the house for four years.