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Old 01-28-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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"Frozen" Gutter Leak


I have a 2 story colonial with a gable roof / no overhang (soffit).

It has a new roof / seamless gutters / drip edge installed. Drip edge is all the way into the gutter and bent slightly to divert runoff to the center of the gutter. Shingles extend 1/2" - 3/4" beyond roof.

I am experiencing water dripping behind the gutter along the fascia board in some areas.

Recently we had an ice and snow storm. Freezing rain and ice etc filled the gutters between 3/4 - full. Then precip turned to a light rain. Rain could not drain out of gutter since it was a combo of frozen and slushy crap. I know there was a gap between the drip edge and the back of the gutter. Is it possible for the water to back up into this gap and flow out behind the gutters?

About a month ago we had a rather deep snow fall (10"), and days afterwards when the sun came back out I noticed that other houses had ice dams everywhere, but my snow pack stayed on the roof. Never had ice dams or icicles, etc. Roof has good ventilation and attic is insulated to about r-49. So, I think I can rule out ice damming as a problem.

Is this just an odd thing happening due to the recent weather conditions?

This spring, I was going to silicone the gap between the drip edge and gutter in case this is how the water is backing up?

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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"Frozen" Gutter Leak


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Originally Posted by cougar01 View Post

Is it possible for the water to back up into this gap and flow out behind the gutters?

Roof has good ventilation and attic is insulated to about r-49. So, I think I can rule out ice damming as a problem.

Is this just an odd thing happening due to the recent weather conditions?

This spring, I was going to silicone the gap between the drip edge and gutter in case this is how the water is backing up?
Yes, it is possible for water to back up, especially when the futters are frozen or clogged, either with snow, ice, slush or organic debris such as leaves.

What is your concept of, "Good Ventilation"?

Also, is there an Ice and Water Shield barrier installed a minimum of 3 feet from the eave edge?

Ed

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!

Yes there is ice shield installed under the shingles along the bottom 3' or so of the roof. Also, when I look in from the attic, I don't see any ice or water backing up that way (knock on wood).

"Good ventilation" means that I have SmartVents along the eaves and a continuous ridge vent. Styrofoam chutes are installed in the attic to keep the insulation from blocking the lower portion of the roof.

I cleaned the gutters out around mid November after trees dropped all of their leaves.

Is sealing this gap between the drip edge and gutter with silicone a good idea, or are there other alternatives?

Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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"Frozen" Gutter Leak


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Originally Posted by cougar01 View Post

Is sealing this gap between the drip edge and gutter with silicone a good idea, or are there other alternatives?
The better option would have been to have the Ice and Water Shield fold down about 3" onto the fascia board, prior to the gutter being installed or replaced, but that is hindsight now.

Yes, a good caulk will seal the gap where the water is coming through.

Best option would be Geocell 2300 series.

Ed
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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"Frozen" Gutter Leak


in the days of wood gutters small blocks of wood were often placed behind the gutter to let and backup flow thru and help keep the back of the gutter ventilated.Its not used with metal gutters that ive seen.Just was something i remembered and had to write down
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:20 AM   #6
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The best way to resolve this problem is to let ice and water shield hang over and seal gutter then place aluminum drip edge over that to protect ice and water.
You could have a roofer do that in the spring just in the area you are having a problem with.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:38 AM   #7
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Using a sealant for this is just a bandaid fix. It sounds like the gutters need to be backflashed which is in effect a strip of sheet metal installed that acts as an extension of the drip metal to go deeper into the gutter.
Unfortunately this is not a job most DIYers could do, you might be better off hiring a pro for this one.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:31 AM   #8
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only problem with putting ice and water shield behind the gutter is it`s not warranted to uv exposure after I believe 45 days,so the reflected heat from the gutter can damage your protection there,drip edge is usually not very good at the gutter eave because it doesn`t go down behind the gutter,you can easily get water down your bearing wall with that,we use the 3"x3" custom bent backflashing BEHIND all gutters like this
the gutter over the metal

Then I will seal the backlip of the gutter with Geocell 2300 sealant,This also allows for proper flashing of fascia covers,etc. under the eave flashing,if you decide to do that later,you can just unscrew 10 ft. of gutter,slide the fascia cover up underneath,and reinstall the gutter screws.I also would not care to have the ice shield installed into my gutters,as ofttimes the gutters need to be replaced more often than the roof should,and when that occurs,it will be a difficult to put that eave back in order
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
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"Frozen" Gutter Leak


Drip edge is not the proper flashing for a gutter. You require a gutter apron/flashing. This is more than likley why you are having a drip behind the gutter. Although even with a gutter apron/flashing you can still experience a drip behind the gutter, although alot less likley.

Typically when we install a roof and gutter system in conjunction with each other, it is preferred. In this case we actually DIVERT overflow behind the gutter. What do I mean? Well the ice shield on the roof edge will wrap over the fascia about 2-3". Later when the roof is done, the gutter installed and the flashing installed with it. The gutter sits on the fascia over the ice shield. We prefer this method because if there is a backup, it can't get inside.

Next the gutter flashing is installed pushed between the bottom of the shingles and top of the ice shield... using this method of installation the water will have to backup at least 3' before the ice dam can get in your house. However let's assume the ice backs up 1'. While it won't get in your house, when the ice thaws it will roll out and behind your gutter.

We have toyed around with installing the gutter flashing at the same time as the roof, and placing a seperate "Stip in" of ice shield over the top of the gutter flashing edge. However it really complicates the installation process of putting up the gutter when you have long runs. In other words it's a PIA getting the gutter to fit between the tight flashing and fascia board when working with long runs of gutter.

Even though we sometimes experience water rolling behind the flashing, it's usually pretty minimal...


having said all that, ice daming is a result of improper insulation and ventilation. The placing of ice shield, heat cable, and other means of removing an ice damn is only just a band aid for the real problem. Chances are likley you need more insulation, and perhapos your roofer made a mistake with your ventilation (either undersized, short circuited, or improper). Just to contradict myself once more, Even with perfect insulation and ventilation you can have ice damning, icicles and other ice related problems in most of the Northern USA and all of Canada.

IN regards to the UV damage of the way we install our ice shield, that is actually recommended by various manufacturers, and I don't beleive "UV" and "Heat" to be the sam, as UV is a spectrum of light and I don't think any light actually gets behind the gutter. Although I will agree it does overheat.

The Pic TRG posted above is great, but I still wouldn't install the gutter without an apron over the back, and even then you still risk ice back up at the flashing. Since most gutter now-a-days are 2 part (one part gutter, one part flashing) there is ALWAYS a risk that water will backup between the gutter and flashing. The only way around this would be a self flashing gutter with membrane adhered to the flashing, but what home owner is prepared to spend triple or more the cost of the standard two part K style gutter system?
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:32 PM   #10
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We've had snow & freezing weather off & on for the past 6 weeks
My roof is vented, R38 insulation, ice shield on the entire roof due to skylights.
Every gutter filled with snow, then froze solid with moisture
The south side has a 20" overhang that shades the windows in the summer. This is the majority of my gutters - all facing South. We just had 4-6 inches of snow then a freezing rain. Short of heating cables in the gutters there would be no way that I can see to prevent this?
I see icicles on everyone house in the area. Mon & Tues will be in the 40's - hoping for some thaw

The snow stays on the roof - no heat loss since its vented & well insulated. The sun hits the snow & melts the top layer which drips down into the gutter. Most days it just freezes again in the gutter

I don't have any leaks, no problems at all
I actually go up on the roof & brush the snow off the skylights to let the sun & heat in
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #11
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It would be helpful to me if I knew your location. I have a gutter business in Southeast Michigan where last year we got over 81 inches of snow. Those of us who live in the snow belt and further north are used to icing conditions. You may not have notice ice cycles but I would think you would have had an ice block in your gutters and ice cycles will occur once they fill up to capacity. Once that happens and the ice thaws it is possible you can have water going behind your gutter. Then at night if the temps fall below freezing the melted snow becomes ice in your gutter and the process starts all over again the next day.
Those conditions are regional. My gutter business in Atlanta hardly evers sees snow and ice and if they did customers would freak out. But in St. Louis it can happen once every year but only last a few days and things are back to normal.
Having three markets to compare I know that roofers have different standards for each area of the country.
I am not a roofer and only know what BOCA codes and manufacturers say about their product. Refer to them on what should be done with the drip edge but I would never silicone the drip to the back of the gutter on my home. And if your roof does not have drip edge (like many home in Atlanta) I would refer to the manufactures specs.
If you did not have any problems this summer with water going behind your gutter when it rained then I would leave all alone.
Take this in consideration... If you geocel the back of the gutter to the facia or drip edge and then you have damage to you gutter and need to replace it....it can cost you more money then just the gutter.
Water on a low pitched roof has a tendency to curl back when falling off the shingle. The Slower the rain the more it curls. That is why roofs should have drip edge and gutters are installed behind them. Yes I have had to extend drip edge with flashing when the gutter drops too far down. We gutter guys can always come up with extra aluminum.
If you have water going behind your gutter in a normal rainfall consider adding more downspouts. The gutter could be filling up and the DS can not take the run off. If you do not like the ice melt and water going behind your gutter try a heat tape (Lowe's or HD) and put it in your gutter and plug it in when needed.
I hope this helps
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar01 View Post
"Good ventilation" means that I have SmartVents along the eaves and a continuous ridge vent. Styrofoam chutes are installed in the attic to keep the insulation from blocking the lower portion of the roof.
I've never understood how SmartVent





provides ventilation once there is a ice/snow buildup in the gutter and at the roofs edge.

------------

Roofs without soffits are common in my area (Chicago), when inspecting them in above-freezing weather I always include an FYI item in my reports stating that in my experience and opinion this design is frequently subject to ice-damming and related problems - I know that come winter I will be getting calls from the owners of properties I inspected the previous summer who are now havng such problems.

FWIW, the roofer I use for work on my own buildings uses this technique:




to retro-fit ventilation at the eaves on such roofs.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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I always wondered why some Roofers in northern climates would use SmartVent. Is there any other option other than gable vents with a solar power roof vent.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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I have photographed proof that I posted last year how the cooler attic from having a balanced Intake And Exhaust ventilation system minimizes or completely nulls the melting in uneven spots on the roof deck, which thereby did not result in the creations of ice dams in the first place.

If I can find those photos, I will repost them. You can clearly see how the exposed edge of the Smart Vent from DCI Products is clear and uninhibited, allowing fresh air to flow into the attic. Also, by using a high quality Ridge Vent with external baffles, like the Shingle Vent II, there is visual proof that the interior heat has traveled through the attic and melted the snow cover on top of the Ridge Vent Exhaust Troughs for complete air movement.

The photos were taken immediately one day after a 14" and also a 6" snowfall the previous day and night.

One final not: Did anyone see the News 2 days ago about the roof top fire at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago?

If so, the inquiry is now pointing at the electric heat cables to melt the snow and ice. I have been told many times in the past, from firemen, that this is a common danger associated with those electric methods of ice dam mitigation, so be warned if you are at wits end and be safe with your homes.

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:00 PM   #15
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If I can find those photos, I will repost them. You can clearly see how the exposed edge of the Smart Vent from DCI Products is clear and uninhibited, allowing fresh air to flow into the attic....
I'd be interested in seeing those - the method I posted above is pretty much foolproof, but also of course quite expensive as the eave structure must be extended, so alternatives would be attractive if less expensive.

What is the mechanism that keeps the SmartVents open as snow/ice accumulates in the gutter - wind scouring?

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