Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Last year at about this time I wrote a blog about ice dams, covering what needs to be done to prevent ice dams from happening, both on the inside and outside of the house. This year I'll discuss a bunch of different ways to get rid of ice dams. The methods involve axes, ice picks, pantyhose, salt, and heat cables.
The most obvious way to get rid of ice dams would be to just take a blunt instrument and hack away at the ice dams. I tried an axe.
Pros: Fast results - I hacked through several feet of six-inch thick ice dams in a matter of minutes.
Cons: Unsafe and cumbersome. I had to set up a ladder on the icy ground and swing an axe while standing on a ladder. The ice also really flew in my face - I should have been wearing goggles! I was only able to remove the ice down to the gutter, and only able to get close to the surface of the roof without risking damage to the shingles.
Verdict: This is a high risk, but fast and effective way of getting rid of a lot of ice, but leaves the job incomplete.
Sounds like a natural choice, doesn't it? I actually used my awl, but close enough.
Pros: Very fast results, very little effort. It's as though this tool was made for picking at ice. Oh, wait... Still, I was genuinely surprised at how fast and accurate this method was.
Cons: Unsafe. Again, I was jabbing at ice dams while standing on a ladder, which was sitting on the icy ground. I also had to be very careful to not damage the roof.
Verdict: This is definitely my method of choice. Nothing else worked nearly as well.
Yes, this is a product designed specifically for preventing damage from ice dams. Contrary to the name on the container, the product doesn't actually melt your roof (whew). The instructions say to toss the tablets on to your roof and they'll melt through the ice dams, allowing for "water to drain safely".
I tried tossing the tablets on the roof like the instructions said to do, but it didn't work out very well. I consider my tablet tossing skills to be above average, but I still couldn't get the tablets to end up in a good location - they all just slid together in one place. If I didn't get a ladder out to take pictures, I never would have known that the tablets didn't end up in a good spot.
Just to give the roof melt tablets the best possible chance for success, I hand-placed them on the ice dam and I used about four times as much as the directions called for.
By day two, I had some pretty dramatic results - the tablets had melted all the way through the ice dam. btw - for anyone in a southern climate that might be reading this blog, that white stuff on the ice is snow, from a very light snowfall the night before.
By the third day, not much change. There were definite holes in the ice dam, and some channels had formed for water to drain through, but the majority of the ice was still there.
Pros: If you had perfect aim and tablets didn't move after you tossed them on to the roof, this would be very safe.
Cons: The tablets don't stay where they land, which negates the whole safety thing - I still had to set up a ladder on the icy ground and move the tablets around myself. This method was also pretty ineffective - it created a bunch of holes in the ice dam, but so what? Most of the ice dam was still there in the end.
Verdict: This might be a nice way to get down to the roof surface, and it would be nice to follow up with an ice pick after a day or two, but the tablets alone aren't great. Sure, it's safe... but so is sitting inside a warm house. Neither gets the job done.
Salt Filled Pantyhose
This is a simple, straight-forward approach. Take off your pantyhose, fill 'em up with ice melt (calcium chloride or something similar), and toss 'em on your roof. The idea is that the salt will leak through the pantyhose and eventually melt the ice dams away to nothing. This is supposed to work better than just putting salt directly on the roof, because salt applied directly to the roof will just melt a bunch of tiny holes, much the same way the tablets melted large holes.
By day two, there were several tiny holes in the ice dam. Whoop-de-doo. Salt alone would have done this.
By day three, the pantyhose had started to melt in to the ice dam, and had completely melted down to the roof. The part that hadn't melted down to the roof basically had a hard, crusty layer of salt(?) formed on the bottom of the pantyhose, and nothing else was happening. I picked up the pantyhose, broke up all the chunks of stuck together salt, and placed it back down.
On day four, I tried moving the pantyhose again to loosen up the stuck together chunks of salt, and the pantyhose ripped apart, leaving a big mess of salt on the roof. Yuck.
Pros: This is pretty safe.
Cons: Took way too long and didn't do much. Waste of time. I wonder if I can return the pantyhose to Walgreens?
Verdict: Better than nothing.
For the record, heat cables aren't supposed to be placed directly on ice dams, but some people might try it anyway. My friend did this at a house he owns in Saint Louis Park... so I took pictures. These photos all show the heat cables after about one day.
Note the creative way of keeping the cables from touching each other. Pretty cool, huh?
Pros: Gets the job done, and will prevent the formation of ice dams throughout the rest of the year.
Cons: Heat cables aren't made for this, and I'm sure the manufacturer would tell you that this poses some type of safety hazard. Stringing up the cable was also very unsafe. It's a good thing my friend owns a jet pack.
Verdict: Don't do this.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. My favorite method was definitely the ice pick, but this was also very unsafe, and there's a good chance that the roof surface could get damaged this way. I'd rather not have to deal with ice dams at all.
After a good snowfall, rake the snow off your roof. This definitely takes the least amount of effort and it's safe. I've been asked whether a roof rake will damage the roof, and the answer is definitely no. A good roof rake will have little wheels at the bottom of the rake , which prevents the bottom of the rake from even touching the surface of the roof. Rake away.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.