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My helpful home tips

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:01 am

fennel wrote:
narcoleptish wrote:I have one of those dryer vent diverters that vents the warm air into the basement during the winter, outside in the warm weather. I don't know why more people don't use them, a load of clothes is a huge amount of heated air.
Probably not a good idea with a gas-run dryer.


Thanks Fennel, I should have mentioned that it is not recommended for gas dryers. I've never bothered to learn why a gas furnace or water heater needs a more regulated (seemingly) exhaust system than a gas dryer, and why a gas range needs none at all? It's all the same gas..

You do have to be careful about the moisture, especially if you do a lot of laundry. I've never noticed a problem.
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Re: My helpful winter home tips

Postby snoqueen » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:56 pm

I've been noticing a few posts (Measurable snow thread) about snow and ice accumulation on one's roof. I struggled with this (roof raking, salt, etc.) for a few years until I discovered heat tape.


I wasn't sure I wanted to wade into this one, but here goes. There are several reasons heat tape is a poor solution to ice dams, and lots of better solutions. Here's a link to a fairly long discussion full of worthwhile detail:

http://bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/b ... -ice-dams/

I selected this link specificially because it is not from a manufacturer or installer of roof products, insulation etc.

Quick outline of their reasoning:
Ice dams usually develop along roof eaves, above the plate line of exterior walls....There are two reasons for increased heat loss at this point: Rafters on most homes sit directly on top of exterior walls leaving a shallow space for insulation....And secondly, builders are not particularly fussy when it comes to air-sealing this point to prevent the movement of warm indoor air up to the underside of the roof surface....

The damage caused by ice dams can be controlled in 2 ways: Maintain the entire roof surface at ambient outdoor temperatures or build a roof so that it can’t leak into sensitive building materials if an ice dam forms....

And what about those heat tapes? In my entire life, I have never seen a zig-zag arrangement of electrically-heated cable work to fix an ice dam problem. The cable is heated by electric power, so you throw good energy after bad energy.... Over time heat tape embrittles shingles, creates a fire risk, are expensive to install and use, and leak water through loose fasteners. In fact take a good look at roofs that are equipped with heat tape. The electric cable creates an ice dam just above it....

...focus on the cause. Ice dams are created by the heat lost from the house....Ventilate, insulate well and block as many air leaks as practical.


They go into detail regarding blocking air leaks, better roofing materials, etc. if you want to follow up. Every roof and every house is different, so if your place repeatedly has leak problems due to ice you might ask someone with experience to help.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby city2countrygal » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:06 am

Thank you for the link and the info snoqueen. I am going to research it and we are going to permantely fix the problem when we have the roof redone.

I'm suggesting heat tape as a temporary solution for one or two seasons until the owners are able to invest in a full redo, pending insurance coverage for ice dams. That kind of work is pricey!

After mopping my floors and using towels, rugs, blankets, whatever, to clean up water running in my living room from ice damning and into my basement, this will be the second year I have the heat tape up with no such water issues. And it also beats roof raking. Who wants to roof rake after you have already shoveled or plowed your driveway?
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:46 am

city2countrygal wrote: Who wants to roof rake after you have already shoveled or plowed your driveway?


What's worse is clearing the sidewalk and driveway and THen remembering that the roof raking is going to cover up some of those areas again. Yes, I've done that.

When I do get around to re-roofing my house I'm going to use Ice & Water Shield at least half way up the roof instead of just the recommended/required first 3 feet.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:40 am

narcoleptish wrote:When I do get around to re-roofing my house I'm going to use Ice & Water Shield at least half way up the roof instead of just the recommended/required first 3 feet.

I had my roof reshingled a couple years ago and had six feet of ice and water shielf installed. It seems to have prevented ice damming, which was a problem in the past.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby bdog » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:46 am

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