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Old 02-06-2014, 07:29 PM   #1
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Hello all,

I'm new to the forum and a first time home owner. I moved from Vancouver (rain year round) to Timmins Ontario (-40s and snow)

Came home from work today and there was water inside one of my rooms upstairs. The water leaked through A hole in the ceiling. It was about a quarter inch in diameter. The hole goes straight through the ceiling into the attic, it looks like all of the water rushed in from the attic through the whole, into the room.

The inside of my attic is filled with ice. I do have heaters on the roof to prevent an ice dam from forming, but only turned it on today.

I'm going to try my best to get pictures of the ice uploaded. In the meantime, do any of you have any tips on anything else I can do, or what to look for?

Thank you!


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Old 02-06-2014, 08:40 PM   #2
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Ice dams are caused from lack of ventilation, insulation, and air sealing in the attic.
You also needed storm and ice shield under the shingles.
Going to need more info.
How much insulation in the attic?
Soffit vents?
What type roof venting?
How much insulation in the attic?
Anyone air sealed the attic?

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Old 02-07-2014, 07:02 AM   #3
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


+1

Air seal, insulate, and ventilate are your friends here.

There is a ton of information on ice damming and what you can do to lessen its potential.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #4
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Now that you have the heaters on and stopped the water intrusion about the best thing to do is attempt to dry the moisture while keeping the wet area as cool as possible after removing all the wet material possible. Sounds counter intuitive doesn't it, but it's possible. Mold doesn't grow well in cold conditions. If you determine to dry with heat it needs to be accomplished within about 72 hours being mold likes 26C and about 3 days to rear it' ugly head.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Where are these heaters?
No way should they be in the attic.
Hot moist air in the attic is the last thing you want.
That attic needs to be close to the outside temp if it's unfinished.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


I think he means ice melt cable.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


You also need to get all the insulation out in the attic before mold sets in.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:31 PM   #8
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


I believe that's been covered.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Ice dams are caused from lack of ventilation, insulation, and air sealing in the attic.

You also needed storm and ice shield under the shingles.

Going to need more info.

How much insulation in the attic?

Soffit vents?

What type roof venting?

How much insulation in the attic?

Anyone air sealed the attic?

I have a two story house, check pic below

Answers to your questions

1-not enough insulation in attic, home inspector recommended a bit more

2-I couldn't find any soffit vents on the second story. My second story just has gutters. The shingles between the roof and first floor sort of flare out, and the soffits seem to be on the first floor...... Am I making sense? The soffits are not vents, but are look like long sheets with holes

3-roof venting you can see in pic

4-I doubt the attic is sealed. It was still cold up there but not as cold as outside

I am a complete newb! I'm only 25 and this is my first house and want to learn






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Old 02-07-2014, 06:07 PM   #10
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Everyone is having ice dam trouble this winter so you are not alone. If you have ice melt cables that is a huge plus as they will minimize the damage. Keep them going and also try to remove as much snow from your roof as you can with a snow rake. Don't try to climb up on your roof to do the work. Use your snow rake on an extension pole safely from the ground. That's about all you can do at this point. The damage is done so you may want to contact your insurance agent. When the weather breaks, you can address those ventilation and insulation issues so this doesn't happen again. Lesson learned.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:56 PM   #11
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Don't see an overhang and therefore any soffits.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:42 PM   #12
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Do soffits on the first floor make sense? My first floor has a small overhand and there are soffits there (not the standard vent but the long plastic sheets with holes). Can soffits to the attic come from the first floor???

Also. As you can see in the pic above, I have a static vent for my attic. This might be a cause for alarm, my vent had lots of "steam" coming out. Like it was basically smokey..... It was puffing like a chimney.

I know this is bad, I went and bought some 2x12s and a ladder and will go up there tomorrow and take a look.


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Old 02-08-2014, 09:31 PM   #13
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Cant tell from the pic, is your home a mansard style or is there just a small roof above the first floor? Google images will explain better than I can.
Mansards are very complicated to ventilate properly, but ventilating an overhang-less roof isn't too complicated anymore.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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Ice dam and leak in Northern Ontario


Yes I believe it is a mansard style. The first floor has an overhand. The side of the house flares up a bit, the shingles are practically vertical, then the roof up top is at a slight angle, almost flat, with no overhand

I will look for gable vents because that is the only way I'm going to get air through the attic


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Old 02-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #15
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