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Old 01-08-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Attic venting in the winter


One of my previous posts was asking about ice dams. Message back was that if the attic is properly air sealed, insulated and vented.... there shouldn't be any problems.


Not having much luck with the venting thing.... the insulation is stuffed into the soffit bays (?) and there is a piece of 4" pipe running down every 3rd bay (instead of a baffle). I should have every bay vented but can't get in from the attic to clear the insulation away (too tight). Will need to pull down the soffits to get at it and sort of want to wait til the spring so I don't slide off the roof with the snow.


Anyways, couple questions...

1) I have a ridge vent at the top cap but this probably applies for other roof vents. In the wintertime when I've got 18" of snow on the roof, the ridge vent is completely covered. Sort of kills the venting, right?

2) Mentioned that I can't do much to fix the venting at this time. What can I do as a stopgap to keep ice dams from forming? I've been clearing the snow with a roof rake (6' up from the edge) to try to keep the gutters clear and it seems to be working.....


Thanks!!

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:16 AM   #2
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Attic venting in the winter


Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt03 View Post
One of my previous posts was asking about ice dams. Message back was that if the attic is properly air sealed, insulated and vented.... there shouldn't be any problems.


Not having much luck with the venting thing.... the insulation is stuffed into the soffit bays (?) and there is a piece of 4" pipe running down every 3rd bay (instead of a baffle). I should have every bay vented but can't get in from the attic to clear the insulation away (too tight). Will need to pull down the soffits to get at it and sort of want to wait til the spring so I don't slide off the roof with the snow.


Anyways, couple questions...

1) I have a ridge vent at the top cap but this probably applies for other roof vents. In the wintertime when I've got 18" of snow on the roof, the ridge vent is completely covered. Sort of kills the venting, right?

2) Mentioned that I can't do much to fix the venting at this time. What can I do as a stopgap to keep ice dams from forming? I've been clearing the snow with a roof rake (6' up from the edge) to try to keep the gutters clear and it seems to be working.....


Thanks!!
1. The snow will usually melt off of the ridge when the heat leaves the space and some air flow will go through the snow. You definitely want something like the GAF Snow Country up there.

2. Installing some sort of heated wire (or other means to melt/keep the snow off) or scraping the roof are your two big options right now.

You definitely want to get that intake air issue fixed up as soon as the weather allows.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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Attic venting in the winter


+1, as soon as the soffits get some air flow the ridge should thaw out from the added warm air flow.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:15 AM   #4
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Attic venting in the winter


Why would you have to go on the roof to work on the under-eaves? I am assuming you have ventilated soffits? What makes you think you have a problem? If the snow over your ridge vent isn't melting, that would make me believe that very little heat is escaping into your attic, and you are fine. Are you experiencing leaks at the top plates of your exterior walls?

Once again, the key to avoiding ice damming is to keep the temperature under the deck close to the outside temperature. If the attic is nice and cold, no ice dams. If you have heat loss into the attic, the first thing that will melt is the ridge, because heat rises. Since your ridge is covered with snow and not melting, your attic is nice and cold.
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Last edited by jagans; 01-08-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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