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Old 12-22-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


Well its been cold here in CT and we've gotten about 12" of snow and now I've got ice damming up at the edge of my roof (no gutters). It seems the water is backing up under the shingles and getting in the eaves and then leaking down the side of the house. This is a single level ranch with a small pitch to the roof. We bought the house about 10 months ago and the roof was replaced prior to us buying it. My dad did a little work on the roof this past summer and said it had about 3' of ice block up from the bottom. Where could the water be coming in, around the nails? Does anyone know what could be causing this? I don't want to rot the wood all out. Thanks, Jeff

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Old 12-22-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


Hire someone to get the snow off the roof, and also to break up the ice as well.
Check out the condition of your fasica boards. It may also be seeping thru there. Lastly, get up in your attic with a flashlight and see what else may be contributing to it.

We have been straight out cleaning snow and ice dams off of roofs (apartment buildings, Grocery stores, & homes) with the same issuse as you ....most of them, even with the proper Water & Ice-shield in place on the eaves.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 12-22-2007 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:57 PM   #3
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


Quickest way to melt or rid of ice and snow is a garden hose. Even cold spigot water will melt it quickly and you may NOT have to crawl up on treacherous conditions. A hard tubing or piping you can conect on your hose can do the climbing part!! Remember to for sure take the hose off the outside faucet and in the heated house at night etc. or you have frozen nothing to work with next time. screw both ends together and keep them high to avoid making a mess.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:18 PM   #4
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


Did the seller of the home/roofer offer any warranty with the newly installed roof?

Talk to your real estate agent about any recourse.

Do you have adequate insulation in the attic?

Do you have adequate venting for the roof?
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:56 PM   #5
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


I think the old homeowner may have installed the roof himself to be honest. The house was built in the 70's so im sure the insulation isnt the best but it is fully insulated, i'd say its R19 or so. We've got a pretty good size eave over hang. Just guessing, its 14" at least so theres a lot of cold air in there to freeze the ice up. I got up on a ladder and shoveled about 3-4' up from the edges just to try and get some sun on the ice to try and thaw it. It was high 30's here today and is going to be high 40's tomorrow. What exactly should I be looking for in terms of problems that are causing this situation? Thanks for all your help. Jeff
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:08 PM   #6
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


The attic insulation should be R-49.

http://www.owenscorning.com/around/i...ue_results.asp

Is there any vents installed on the roof?
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:17 PM   #7
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


R49 in a 1970's house? The roof rafters are only 2x6's. Theres just gable end vents and an attic fan for the summer. Theres also some soffit vents but only the vents that are about 6" wide by 12" long spaced 6 feet apart. Do you think the roof has done this all its life or just since the new shingles got installed? I dont think someone would have put up with this problem for 30+ years.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:25 PM   #8
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


Is your attic insulation between the roof rafters or on the attic floor?
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:33 PM   #9
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


The insulation is on the attic floor.

I guess I should have said ceiling rafters, not roof. Sorry bout that...

Last edited by GearHd6; 12-22-2007 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:41 PM   #10
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


If the overhang is 14 or greater then the ice/water shield should extend even farther up the roof.

the ice and water shield should extend at least 3 feet up the roof where the exterior walls connect to the roof.

The insulation should be increased.

The vent should have a full soffit vent, a full ridge vent and the gable vent should be removed when these full vents are installed as the gable vent is counter productive with a full ridge and soffit vent.

Is the slope of the roof lower than a 4/12 pitch?

Last edited by redline; 12-22-2007 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:52 PM   #11
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


The fact that you have 2X6 joists doesnt matter. You can and should add more insulation up to R49. If using fiberglass lay the new batts perpendicular to the existing and if cellulose just blow in alot more.
Ice dams form result from too much warm air and or heat getting into your attic space. This raises the temp of the attic above freezing which will melt the snow on your roof. As the snow melts the water flows down toward the eves where it is colder and refreezes to form the ice dam. Upon freezing the ice expands and can go up under the shingles or whatever you have up there damaging your roof. Later when the ice melts you will have water leaking into all the spaces opened up from the ice.
The best way to fix this is to solve the problem permanately by 3 things. Add more insulation to R49, Air seal your attic space very well ie chimney and duct chases , pllumbing vents etc with caulk and or spray foam (non combustibles for chimneys) cause just adding insulation wont stop air from below , and have proper working ventilation. The attic is supposed to be as cold as possible to prevent things like this.
You say you have soffit vents but do you have a ridge vent too? if yes then the simplest thing to do besides raking your roof of the snow is to airseal and insulate much more.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:00 PM   #12
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


For some odd reason the person who installed the roof did not install a ridge vent. I suppose I could add that myself but I dont think I can pull that off until spring. The house has plywood down the middle of the attic on the floor for useable storage space. I have one of those pull down ladders for my attic access door, thats got NO insulation, that can't be to good can it? So I should get rid of my attic fan and the gable end vents, and add a ridge vent and a LOT more soffit vents? What should I add for insulation on top of what i've got now? R....? So it sounds like the original owners of the house battled the ice dams every year?

And I believe the roof pitch is a 4/12, at least thats what I was told.

Last edited by GearHd6; 12-22-2007 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:23 PM   #14
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


I would air seal and then add more insulation first as its much cheaper to diy that than hire someone to put in a ridge vent. Besides you will have a better bang for your buck since your heating costs should go down in addition to solving the ice dam problem.
That uninsulated and non weatherstripped attic access door is a source of huge heat loss usually. That should be your priority even before putting more insulation in the attic. Read this pdf file for some more info http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings...pdfs/26447.pdf

What you need to do is get up there when you can and measure the thickness of your insulation. Fiberglass is about 3.2 R per inch, cellulose 3.7 and you need R 49.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:27 PM   #15
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Icicle forming out of soffit vents???


Well the insulation thats up there now comes flush with the top of 2x6 ceiling rafters. So I always thought that was R19.

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