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pete0403 12-21-2010 11:33 PM

Brand new roof leaking over bulkhead
Hi All,

We just put a new roof on late summer. Ice and water shield along the edges.

I have a leak near the back edge of the roof over my kitchen. The water is sitting on top of the VB and dripping through a light fixture into my kitchen sink (how convenient). It has soaked the underside of the roof sheeting and one of the truss members about 3-4 feet away from the edge of the roof.

I know it's ice damming that's causing the issue since this part of the roof is poorly designed with no overhang. See a cross-sectional drawing below. I know I basically need better insulation and ventillation of this area to prevent ice damming but I have no idea how water got through the ice & water shield. We have had a lot of snow this year but I have raked it off down to the ice over this area a couple days ago before the leak started.

I have two questions about this:

1) What do I do to stop the leak now and get me though until the spring? Do i need to melt the ice over this area with a heated strip and maybe temporarily pile up some more of the blown-in fiberglass to this area?

2) How do I prevent heat from gathering in this area? There is no way to put inlet soffit vents here and the bulkhead is full of blown-in insulation. Would spray foam in the bulkhead help this and maybe some sort of fan up there to keep the air in this area circulating?

Thanks for any help

CplDevilDog 12-22-2010 06:32 AM

A vented drip edge during the re-roof may have helped keep the eaves cool. Retrofitting one is a PITA but should be possible. Ensure the insulation was not stuffed tight to the corners of the eaves as this will negate any airflow.

Fill a sock with Calcium Chloride and lay it across the top of the ice dam down to the gutter.

AllanJ 12-22-2010 07:50 AM

How about an electric roof ice melting cable?

When installing the cable, include a length hung lengthwise in the gutter and going down a downspout so the water drains away rather than pool up and freeze up in the gutter.


Slyfox 12-22-2010 09:57 AM


Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 555311)
How about an electric roof ice melting cable?

When installing the cable, include a length hung lengthwise in the gutter and going down a downspout so the water drains away rather than pool up and freeze up in the gutter.

You can't see the down spout from this picture but it doe's show the heat cable running on the roof and through the gutter.
The gable actually runs through the gutter twice, first time laying in the gutter and the second time using clips & hooking it to the cable running on the roof so the first runs low in the gutter and the second high.
The cable also runs through the down spout a couple feet below the last turn of the elbow.

This should not be thought of as a permanent fix, but rather something to get you through the winter.

Come next spring/summer you can address the situation better with adding intake ventilation either in the fascia 'drip edge style' or in the roof itself near the bottom end.
You can find more information on both styles at DCI.

pete0403 12-22-2010 03:46 PM

Thanks for the replies so far. So it looks like the permanent fix so far is a fascia vent or smart vent. It looks like with the fascia vent that the drip edge has to be extended down a bit, which would be hard unless I re-shingled the while side of the roof...

With the smart vent, I'd have to remove the shingles up past the I&W shield drill holes, and re-lay I&W and then the shingles. Can I put down the already used shingles if I can get them up neatly? Probably not, I'm guessing I'd have to buy a couple more bundles?

With smart vents would ice forming in the eaves block off the inlet and cause the same problem over again?

Also, should I seal the attic side of the bulkhead with polystyrene or something similar? to help prevent heat loss in this area and get rid of the batt and blown-in here?

pete0403 12-22-2010 09:34 PM

For interest sake, here's some pics of the area in question:

Leak points (I found 2 but had problems uploading the other pic)
No inlet vents (this is the other side over a porch)

I think the ice damming is happening much farther up the roof and water is getting under the shingles above the I&W shield, then running down along the top of the sheathing and coming in at the joint.

hammerstedt 12-24-2010 05:36 PM

temp fix
what you could do to get you through the winter is tarp that section of the roof off, air flow and heat to remove the moisture. now your troffs are holding alot of weight with all that ice and putting heat up there before you clean them out will stress out the fasiners and if not already sag it down causing the ice to build and dam up sending it back up your shingles, you would be amazed how far water can go up hill in the winter time :) i can not see how many roof vent you have in that side of the house, but on a new roof job with the ice and water gaurd to have a leak where you say it is, is odd, what pattern did you use to apply the roofing?

pete0403 12-27-2010 02:34 PM

Thanks Hammerstedt,

A new development on this is that I now have bubbling under the paint in my kitchen ceiling. So the leak must be worse and is getting under the VB and seeping through the plaster.

I'm going up there now to remove any wet insulation and cut away any VB that is wet underneath so it can dry a bit...I'll also take up a bright light and see where the leaks exactly are.

There are three roof vents in that part of the attic, one gable vent and no soffit vents (why the whole problem exists i believe).

Oh, and the shingles were put on in the usual fashion, seams staggered by 1 tab.

pete0403 01-08-2011 11:53 AM

Just an update here:

I pulled up the wet unsulation and VB over the bubbling kitchen ceiling and the bubbles shrank and went away. We had one more small leak in a door jam but then the weather warmed up and melted the snow off our roof. Ice dam was gone and so was the leak.

What caused it? Improper use of a roof rake plus too warm of an attic. I raked the snow off the roof down to the shingles about 6 feet up the roof. Where the snow ended on the roof an ice dam formed when the water under the layer of snow flowed out onto the bare roof and hit the outside cold.

in the future I will leave about 6" of snow on the roof and i'll have to add soffit and drip/fascia vents to cool the roof sheathing down as well as seal and add more insulation to the attic.

Thanks all for your help, I learned a lot through this ordeal.

Robert F 01-10-2011 07:34 PM

Havny seen ice like that since Calgary in 1981 Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!:laughing:

Jim F 01-10-2011 08:33 PM

I'm surprised you had ice dams after raking with the roof rake. Thjat was going to be my suggestion. With my roof it is adaquate to just rake a foot or 2 above the edge. The snow on the roof melts because it is over a heated space- just the heat that gets through the insulation is enough. Then it passes over the unheated overhang ans ice forms. Generally just raking this area solves the ice problem but of course as you mentioned proper insulation and ventilation is the permanent fix.

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