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Old 12-26-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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Cape cod ice problems

I recently purchased an older cape cod in Kenosha, WI. We had our first snow storm today and I woke up to the sound of water dripping from the window. I Went outside and the gutters are filled with ice as well as covering the from of the house. There are no over hangs on the house and from what I can tell the water is running on the back side of the window which is not flashed correctly. Anyway it has now started to drip into the basement so I will need to try to do something tomorrow. I went into the small crawls in the upstairs and the rafters have been insulated (falling down though and old) but the knee walls and ceilings are not. I have read over many questions but cant seam to find what I am looking for. Do I need to remove insulation from rafters and do the knee walls and ceiling? Or do I need to fix whatís there and add? If there is a temporary quick fix I would love to hear it as I donít seam to have time to get involved in a lengthy project with the water leaking in. There are roof vents but do not have an access to the area above rooms, yet. Thank you in advance for any help.


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Old 12-27-2010, 07:53 AM   #2
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Those older Capes are famous for ice dams----Permanently correcting the condition is a huge job--

The roof rafters are seldom large enough to get enough insulation and an air space for ventilation-

The ultimate answer is to rip out all the sloped ceilings and add baffles and R 30 insulation(meaning you need to fur down the rafters for the added insulation---Big messy job---

Right now you need to get that water off the roof-----Use ice melting pellets and melt some channels

through the ice dam---Not to good for the shingles or gutters but better than all the inside damage--

Heat wires attached to the roof ,gutters and down spout also will offer you some relief---

The old capes were not well designed for insulation and ventilation---Mike---


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Old 12-27-2010, 08:18 AM   #3
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Pick up a roof rake and try to keep the snow buildup off the last 3-4' of the roof if it's accessible. It's only a temporary band-aid, but keep it up all season and it will help. Insulation will help as noted above.

What's the age/condition of the roofing materials?
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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Insulate and use house wrap or rigid foam board to protect it from wind-washing which degrades the insulation:

Insulate with a High Density batt, rather than the cheaper low density box store standard with inherent convective loops:

Use foam board at the perimeter of the attic because the rafters and spaces between them are transferring the heat from the top plates due to convective looping, to the roof and melting the snow which re-freezes:

Air seal any wire/pipe holes:

Quick fixes have been mentioned.....

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Old 12-27-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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The roof was put on in 2003. It is pretty good shape as the inspector said, although he looked the attic too. Thanks for the adivice, I will definitly try that for now.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #6
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There could be a variety of issues contributing to this.
Lack of an applied ice and water shield on the roof.
Lack of a drip edge or one improperly installed.
Gutters pulling away from the fascia allowing water to get behind them.
As for remediation, anything wet in the walls needs to be removed. Any walls that might be effected need to be opened and inspected.
Moisture in the walls will lead to more troublesome issues.
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:00 PM   #7
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Ron- help are you around?

Hey Ron you've helped me before on this site.. I'm in Selden by Bald Hill. Is there any way, (not by coming over or anything if that's too much for to get involved-I understand) I need important help immediately. In my barn-style farm ranch I have ice damming that has compromised a front corner of my house. There was water 'ballooning" behind a pocket of latex paint on the wall like a plastic bag. I burst that and drained the water. I then removed the sheetrock to see icicles inside the roof bay (no baffles or ice shield above this gambrel to gable joint) and water leaking all inside the wall and roof cavity there. I don't know what to do, who to call. I am going outside to try removing snow off the roof. That should be lovely. PM me here for my phone # or email for my number. Thanks so much..hope you can help somehow or direct me to someone that is able.


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