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Old 12-19-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
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Should I Insulate the Roof?

We had a house built a few years ago and the first year we were in it we had a stretch of very cold weather and experienced massive ice dams which led to water leaking into the house in one or two areas. Since then we have installed gutter heaters but haven't needed to use them as of yet and I am not all that fond of them either from an aesthetic standpoint. Anyway, when I was looking into the causes of ice dams one reason was due to inadequate insulation. Our house was insulated according to code but I'm sure not an ounce of additional insulation was put in. Insulation was blown in above the ceiling but I am wondering if I would benefit from installing insulation under the roof (making sure not to block any venting of course) or if it would actually be a bad idea. Any ideas as to weather it would help prevent future ice dams from forming due to not allowing what heat there is in the attic to make it to snow on the roof? Also, would it help at all with the efficiency of our house? Like I said, everything was built to code but I am just looking for some extra stuff I can do to prevent future damage/increase efficiency. Thanks.



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Old 12-19-2006, 10:44 PM   #2
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Most ice dams are the result of poor ventilation.

Take a good look at the effectiveness of the soffit vents and the roof vents/ridge vent. There should be an open air flow between the two. Too often insulation obstructs the flow at the outside wall - check for foam or cardboard "chutes" that keep the area open.

Insulation on the underside of a roof is useless and can cause more problems.

Codes are not the ideal - they are just the least you have to do and do not include many items because of the impossibility of governing all situations.


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Old 12-28-2006, 07:15 AM   #3
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How much insulation do you have?
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:14 AM   #4
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cardboard "chutes are excellent at the beginning of the inside roof rafters around the soffitts. I will bet you anything when they blew that insulation in they messed up the beginning airflow from the soffits to the attic. This is the first place i would check. Get up in that attic and down on your stomach and see what is going on at the beginning of the rafters making sure there is airflow from the soffits making sure there is no obstruction from the blown in insulation.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:18 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I didn't look too closely at the flow from the soffit vents when I was up there recently but I do remember seeing chutes put in by the contractor when the house was built. Next time I'm up in the attic I'll take a closer look. As far as insullation I am estimating there is 10-12" in most places. Next time I'm up I'll double check the chutes and make sure they are clear. Thanks again.

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