Latest Discussions : Roofing & Siding


09:18AM | 02/02/04
Member Since: 02/01/04
1 lifetime posts
I have frozen gutters with icicles dripping down onto my car and driveway. Unlike most of the advice I've read about ice dams, the source of the heat is the sun, not internal heat from the house.

The "root" of the problem, I believe is that the downspout leads to the curb, and I think that the drainpipe has been invaded by roots from our 80 yr. old sugar maple. Even in the summer, the water just eked out of the drain, it never had a flow to it. Now that it's winter, I suspect that the still water has frozen from the drain pipe at the tree and has worked its was freezing backwards up through the downspout up to the third story gutter.

I've read about heat cables on the roof. Can you run them down through underground drain pipes as well? And is this the best course of action?


04:58AM | 02/03/04
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
It sounds to me like you don't have enough slope on the pipe. I'm no expert in this area though.

The sun helps the snow to melt, but the inside heat of the house is part of the problem also. The house s above freezing until it reaches the 2 feet of overhang where there is no attic. This is below freezing and the sun cannot warm it enough. That's why you have ice dams. I'm sure you've heard it all before. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation and insulation in your attic.

As far as the underground downspout. During the summer you might be able to snake the pipe to find out if you have roots growing in it. Until then I would figure out a way to disconnect the downspout and hook up a winter downspout. Make sure you have enough slope on this pipe and it shouldn't freeze.

Good luck,


08:02PM | 02/28/04
Member Since: 02/28/04
8 lifetime posts
I am an eaves trough/gutter installer in canada and the extreme warm and cold temperatures make for a wealth of knowledge on this sort of problem. From what i understand your downpipe goes into the ground and out to the curb. If this is the case leaves may be pluging the underground section. A roto rooter is likely the way to resolve that. Call a plumber if you think this OR the roots are the problem. A preventative would be to add a diverter before the underground section to allow the water to escape in the winter. It must be above the ground at least a foot to prevent ice building up to the diverter spout. Feel free to ask any questions as i love to help.

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