Roof deicing system?

AlexCLMay 23, 2014

I had big ice dam problem last winter and given the furnace is in attic, I think I will need a roof deicing system to prevent ice dam.

I am considering between a heat panel system from Bylin or a heated gutter system. I am wondering which one is better in prevent ice dam? Heat Panel system is more expensive and I am wondering if it worths the extra money.


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The best prevention for ice dams is proper roof ventilation, NOT expensive bandaids after the fact. It will be better for your home overall to address that issue as well.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:48AM
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Thanks live_wire_oak. I have tried changing the roof ventilation, but multiple roofers mentioned because of the roof design (hard to retrofit soffit vent) and the fact that furnace is in attic, we need to use bandaid/last resort type solution. I explored the possibility of moving the furnace away but no luck there as well.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:02AM
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I suggest you investigate a "hot roof" system which is the exact opposite of lwo's ventilated "cold roof" system. With the cold roof the ventilation keeps the roof cold so no snow melts then refreezes. With a hot roof, there is no ventilation, but the heavy insulation between the attic space keeps the heat from escaping, melting the snow, and freezing, and creating the ice damming.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Thanks Trebruchet. For hot roof system, do you mean spray foaming the entire roof?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:39AM
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Spray foaming the rafter cavities is a large part of it. The new foam has unbelievable insulation R-value.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:16PM
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Agree that dealing with the problem is a better solution than an expensive-to-operate bandaid. Sealing the attic and applying spray foam at the rafters and sidewalls to bring your HVAC equipment inside the conditioned envelope of the house has many advantages for energy efficiency as well as ice dam prevention.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 9:29AM
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