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Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

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Old 11-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
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Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

I have a customer how has a very old roof, he claims is the original roof 90+ years and it's a very ridged asbestos roof.
He gets ice dams every year and last year water came in threw the attic.

He was wondering if he installed the heated wires over the roof where the ice builds up if it would stop the problem.

I'm not a roofer I work for him in his restaurant doing basic building repairs (tile, drywall painting)

I thought the heated wire would work but with the roof having solid tiles that the normal way of installing the wouldn't work

It looks lie the wires attached to the shingles and with them being hard and smooth, it may require a different type of repair.

Any suggestions would be helpful
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:36 PM   #2
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

A heat tape would work, weave it up and down the roof 2' from the eve and through the valleys, then in the gutter and down the down spouts. The question is has he had ice damns all along? Did he put in extra insulation and cover the intake vents?


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Old 11-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

Is this roof on his house or on his restaurant. Restaurants create very high amounts of heat, which need to be properly ventilated to stop the creation of ice. Even if it is his house, it is most likely a lack of ventilation as well as poor insulation causing the problem. Can you get in the attic or through the soffits to see what kind of insulation and ventilation is present. Adding proper ventilation will usually stop ice build up . Many older homes built without raised heel roof trusses have very little insulation or ventilation above the outside wall due to lack of height in the truss heel. One solution if this is the case is to add an insulated crown moulding on the inside of the wall and ceiling corner. This will allow for additional ventilation to be added above in the roof cavity without losing the insulation. Most buildings lose heat at the corner of the wall and ceiling and that's where the ice builds up when the melted water runs beyond the wall onto the overhang where it refreezes and builds ice.

Last edited by muskoka guy; 11-08-2014 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:17 PM   #4
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

Heat cables can be an effective means to reducing ice dams.

The inexpensive cables from the likes of "Frost King" come with metal clips that slide on to the roof shingles. They may have small prongs which help the clips from coming back off. They are typically designed for asphalt shingle thickness, but asbestos cement tiles aren't much thicker and I would think the clips should work out.

As mentioned, looking at what's causing the problem in the first place, might be a place to start.

Ice cables of this variety are a little awkward to install, but they can work fairly well. They do have a limited life span. You might expect 5 years of service and consider yourself fortunate if they last longer.
Above all, a good roof
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

He could try the heating cables, or maybe a heated gutter. Make sure that the roof/attic is also checked for ventilation problems, as they can often cause ice dams as well. Best of luck!

Alan Monzon
Arizona Roof Rescue
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

2 reasons for ice dams.

1) not enough ventilation.
2) not enough insulation.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:13 PM   #7
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

And winter time
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: Old Asbestos Roof Ice Dam

Originally Posted by BamBamm5144 View Post
And winter time

Or any other time it gets below freezing


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