January 1, 2008

The view from my ice cage.

The View From My Ice Cage

22 comments:

Meade said...

Beautiful but better do due diligence.

Ann Althouse said...

Believe me, I am not happy about having icicles, but the notion that you can prevent the snow on the roof from melting... it's absurd. It's not just a matter of the heat inside the house. (I have insulation.) There also the sun and the air warming up over the course of the day and then getting colder at night.

Ann Althouse said...

http://www.madison.com/tct/news//index.php?ntid=262400

"The best way for homeowners to combat the problem of ice dams, according to Sturman and Culligan, is to be proactive and clear as much snow from their roofs as possible.

"There's nothing you can do except get up there and shovel," Culligan said.
And if owners wait and ice builds, they may pay in removal and damage costs.

"Sturman said snow and ice removal at Mad City Roofing ranges anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

"Culligan said Aaffordable Roofing charges on average $125 per hour for ice and snow removal. He said the average roof takes two to three hours to clear.

"Though these prices may seem steep, getting the snow off before leaking starts may save homeowners significant repairs.

""We've been to buildings where water is just pouring in and drywall is popping off," Culligan said.

"Short of clearing off snow, however, Culligan said there is not much homeowners can do.
"It's a tough problem this year," Culligan said.""

Ugh! Come on. You know you're not going to go out on your roof in the snow and shovel or spend thousands of dollars paying someone else to do it.

The icicles in the picture are 3 stories up. I'm sorry. I can only hope for the best.

Meade said...

I hear you and no, I would not recommend going out on a snowy roof. I have the same problem with my house. The floor of the attic is insulated so I keep the furnace as low as I can and open the attic windows to keep the ceiling under the roof cold. That's about the best I can do. The rubber membrane thing is probably worth doing next re-shingling though. Meanwhile I keep buckets ready just in case and, like you, hope for the best.

Christy said...

We see why the stadium in Tampa Bay today was a sea of red.

Ann Althouse said...

There should be some high tech roof solution... give me solar energy too. Melt the snow off and then generate heat for inside use.

Ann Althouse said...

Your idea, Meade, seems to involve keeping the snow from melting. How can that make sense? Meanwhile, you're sacrificing the insulating effect of the attic by making it cold.

Dave F said...

So, uh, so much for global warming.

al said...

I don't think meade is sacrificing anything. A warm attic in the winter just means you have poor insulation.

I had a full length ridge vent installed when I had a new roof put on a few years ago. Combine that with ventilated eaves and the attic stays cool in the winter. My only icicles are above my vaulted ceiling where I'm pretty sure there isn't enough air moving from eave to ridge over the insulation.

Jay said...

I solved the snow on the roof problem by moving to Florida. Well, the Air Force moved me here and then I stayed.

Folks down here do get a bit skittish at the words "freeze warning". Weather folks are saying an Arctic cold front is coming through tonight and the coldest weather in 5 years will happen overnight Wednesday. Here in Brevard county (Kennedy Space Center is here) they are saying it just might get into the 20s for the low. Rough on the long term Floridians...

Donald Douglas said...

"I can only hope for the best."

I'm hoping with you! We just don't get that weather in SoCal (the fires and floods aren't too fun, of course).

Hope you're having a great '08 besides the ice!

Meade said...

There are high tech solutions but, like solar panels, they are expensive and probably wouldn't fit the aesthetics of your older home's architecture.

If your attic is a finished living space, you needed to do what al did and install baffled vents over the entire ceiling running from the eaves to the roof ridge. The layers of material, from the top, would be: (exterior) shingles, tar paper, wood sheathing, (interior) baffled vents, insulation, drywall, paint.

That would keep the very surface of your roof almost as cold as the outdoor temperature. The problem comes not from snow melting but from snow melting and then refreezing, creating ice dams in the gutters. When more snow and ice melts again, it has nowhere to go except back up under the tar paper where it then finds the most direct route downstream through your walls and ceilings and, in my case a few years ago, down the dining room chandelier onto the centerpiece of an antique table.

Look at the neighbor's unheated garages in the photo you posted. No icicles. When the outdoor temperature in Madison finally gets warm enough to melt the snow on those roofs, it will also melt the ice in the gutters and, if leaves were cleaned out of the gutters as they should have been at the end of fall, the snow melt will flow freely across the exterior surface of the shingles, to the gutters and the downspouts, away from the foundations to the storm sewers, and finally into the lakes.

If you can keep your house's heat from warming up the roof's surface, you won't have to stay up all night emptying buckets of water and having to call contractors and insurance agents in the morning.

(BTW, Ann, I hope you didn't miss this great Beatles clip Bird Dog at Maggie's Farm posted the other day)

hdhouse said...

facing west or east? i'm guessing facing east just because of the shadow slant but it might be west because the sun melts the snow more and makes for longer icycles.

the snow on the trees indicates the last storm came in from the northwest blowing SE?

nina said...

I used to get up on the roof and shovel. Not anymore. Ahhhh, condo living.

Blake said...

For some of us, this whole thread is like listening to Mongolian yak herders.

I understand the words, even the concepts, but I just can't grasp it.

Trooper York said...

No snow in Brooklyn.

Ann Althouse said...

Nina, you had a one-story house. Shoveling off my roof would be really dangerous. And I never see anyone in my neighborhood shoveling off their roof.

Bill_45 said...

Reflecting on all my Midwestern winters I recall at no time ever seeing anyone up on a roof clearing snow. There would be the occasional news story that usually included the words "tragic accident," but that's it.

gophermomhey said...

I have that same obstructed view out my kitchen and bedroom windows. We spent New Year's Eve day adding insulation to our attic to retain heat in the house and allow the actual roof to stay colder. What's worked for us, previous, is to lay heated wires that you plug in, into the gutters. Obviously, it's too late for you, this winter, but it's worked wonders along our flat-roofed porch. Unfortunately, the wires along our north roofline (where the kitchen window faces) are not working, this winter. We leave the wires up in the gutters year-round...

MadisonMan said...

We have a neighbor who took old panty hose, filled it with de-icer, and threw it on the roof. That worked.

You can also have electric cords that heat the edges of the roof installed, but of course that needs to be done before the snow falls.

My house is not two-story, so I borrowed a snow rake.

hdhouse said...

madison man...

if you go on daylight savings time and move your clock another hour you'll get more sunlight and thus more melting. then you shut off your clock and the sun goes away and everything freezes instantly before the water has a chance to drip and form the icicles..

or you can pound on the ceiling until they fall off....

Trooper York said...

I have a neighbor who took old pantyhose, filled with his wife, and tossed it on the roof. But she climbed back down. Back to the drawing board.