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question for the real pros?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by CNYScapes, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    :help: I have a property with severe ice problems. The sidewalks stick out a few feet past the edge of the roof. All day long the snow on the roof drips down on to the sidewalk and forms a sheet of ice. We go over and scrape up the inch of ice that has formed by the next morning and put down a crapload of rock salt on it and when we come back the next day there it is again. Do you guys have any possible solutions to this problem. :help:
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Pre-treat with Magic Salt (or similar salt treatment). Yes, the drips from the roof will dilute it. Just put it down a little heavier. Or monitor every few hours until you figure it out. After the temp drops below freezing, it should be working longer.
  3. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    are there gutters? or do they just get frozen over?
  4. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    yes the gutters are froze solid after the first week of snow and cold weather. I have not tried pre treating yet, I have a magic distributor in my town so i will call him tomorrow to get some to try.
  5. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    You'll reduce your income, but you could be proactive and talk to the property manager about heaters in the gutters. Besides the problem on the sidewalk, it's probably creating moisture problems inside the building.

    Put your consultant's hat on. Frozen gutters mean ice dams on the roof, means water leaching into the building, mold and roof damage.

    May not do any good this season, but if you plant the seed in his mind now and follow up in the spring, it should help elminate this problem & solidify your relationship for future biz with the client.
  6. frostservices

    frostservices Member
    Messages: 63

    Try clearing the bottom 4 feet of snow off the roof and that may melt the ice dam probs. The sun will be able to get to the bottom of the roof and maybe melt the gutters out. Um next thing to do is find the architect and give him a swift kick in the but Who puts a sidewalk under eves.:dizzy:
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Try solving the gutter problem first- the ice will take care of it self. If the gutter is frozen solid you have a problem. Salt the gutter to melt it, find where the clog or ice damn is for the downspout and remove it, problem should be solved.

    Odds are there is a pile of snow over the downspout causing a backup and freezing in there. Ice damns usually occur from improperly maintained gutters, poorly run downspouts, or clogged spouts.
    Your gutters should never freeze and heaters for them is a bandaid that will only be temporary- if the spout is still blocked the spout will still be frozen and the gutter will not drain.
  8. 87rnr

    87rnr Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Sounds to me like the solution would be to insulate and vent your attic better. The temp in your attic should be the same as the outside temp, or close. If snow is melting off your roof because its warm outside, gutters may help. If it's melting because heat from the house is escaping out your roof, its an isulation/ ventilation problem.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2005
  9. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I have 2 buildings that are occupied by the architect that designed the building.. guess where the sidewalks are!

    Same as the parking lot and where they put tree and light islands.. they look good on paper and are a pain to clear in the snow and ice.

    On the two buildings above, the building manager put in the heat strips - problem was solved before we got the first snow. I can't take credit for the idea since they had it done before I took the accounts on.

    Have another account where there is a shower in the basement and it vents directly onto the walks.. let's see .. hot moist air hitting 12 degrees... what an ice skating rink that makes. We treat and salt regularly. Helps, but am working with the client to find a solution for next year. Again, consultative sales.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2005
  10. yooper.mi

    yooper.mi Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Block off sidewalk and move path away from ice.

    92" snow 17"+ on the ground
  11. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    not exactly- most homes have the rafters insulated in the entire roof- attic included that may be part of the problem, but you guys are missing the fact the gutters are not draining- if the gutters are not draining there is a gutter problem- not a roof problem. there may also be a roof problem, but the gutters being corrected will cover the roof problem- the roof problem will NOT fix the gutters not draining.

    fix the gutters.

    The roof drain in the building where I work days comes through the ceiling/roof (warehours type building) right over one of the desks (used to be mine- now near me). the plow guy here (moron) burries the down spout drain which runs along the side of the building to a safe drainage spot to avoid iceing the road next to us. Lasr winter (and I am expecting it again this year) the drain pipe froze solid, causing the downspout to backup to the roof. When the sun comes out the roof melts, the spout/drain is still plugged so there is a 20 gallon + pool on the roof- the slip joint in the drain inside the building is the weak point- so the desk, the area (20 plus feet around the desk) and everything it it get's a cold bath. Happened 4 days in a row last year. Cost us most of a computer, moniter, countless books and merchandise....cleanup....
    Everything became plastic covered for weeks.

    Roof melting was not the problem- frozen drain was. Melted the drain problem fixed.
  12. 87rnr

    87rnr Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    If snow is melting off of your roof from the sun, than yes its probably a gutter problem. However, if its that warm, snow and ice should be melting everywhere, on the ground included.

    A properly insulated / vented roof will have as much snow on it as on the ground.( less the stuff removed by wind.) The attic should be within a few degrees of the outside temp, and have enough ventilation to completely exchange the air in 6 minutes.

    Icicles or water dripping off a roof when its below freezing, is a sign of a poorly insulated/ vented roof. Water runs down the the roof to the gutter (which is much colder) and will freeze up and eventually get blocked , (and if not equipped with gutters, it will form icicles).The water then builds up causing water to drip over top the gutters onto the ground, also creating icicles. If this is left untreated, ice dams may cause water to back up into the attic or home. Ice dams have nothing to do with gutters, and can occur on homes with no gutters at all.

    Up here in Northern Ontario temps often dip to -40C, yet one can find houses that have water dripping from the eves. The problem is definitly more then just a frozen gutter, ( the water makes it to the cold aluminum gutter and freezes instantly). The key is to keep water out of the gutter till spring. Once a gutter is frozen up here, it stays frozen till spring.

    Good luck to you, and happy holidays to all!:drinkup:
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2005