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Old 03-02-2008, 09:16 PM   #1
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Ice dam in a weird place


I did a few searches on this site, and I basically understand how an ice dam forms, but I have a strange issue. I have a cape with a wraparound porch that is 12 years old. For the first time this year, we've had an ice dam problem and have water leaking into the house. The porch is uninsulated, and 6 feet deep and covers the length of the house. There are gutters. The attic insulation seems adequate, there are no giant areas of melted snow that would indicate massive heat loss. I am getting a giant ice dam on the front edge of the porch, and the water is following the vinyl ceiling to the inside walls and dripping down. I am planning on cleaning the snow off, and trying to cut a channel tomorrow, but not sure exactly why it's happening. If anyone has a clue, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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Old 03-02-2008, 10:02 PM   #2
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Ice dam in a weird place


YOU NEED TO FLASH BEHIND THE GUTTER,THE ICE SHIIELD FROM THE COLD UNINSULATED AREA,BACK UP TO APPROX. 3 FT. PAST THE INTERIOR BEARING WALL,CAPES NEVER HAVE ENOUGH INSULATION(EXCEPT CLOSED CELL FOAM CAN)r-38 RECOMMENDED,also any dormer wall should have the ice shield turnt up the wall also as a back up to the wall flashings-I`m gonna tack an old reply on next for you to see the flashing and gutter specs,for these scenarios

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Old 03-02-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
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Ice dam in a weird place


ok deja`vue time for some of you,I use this pic a lot,gaf specs. for a "dripedge" I use a 3x3 custom bent tighter than the pitch so it hugs the roof and closes the gap between fascia and soffit area,this in turn allows any aluminum fascia capping to slide under the 3x3(backflashing),it is nailed to the rafters instead of just the plywood so it doesn`t ripple the metal,the gutter is secured to the lower half of the 3x3 w/ inside brackets using galvanized 1 5/8th hexbolts,"textbook" would also call for Geocell tri-polymer sealant(min. 1/4" bead) to be placed at the juncture of the gutter rear lip,and the 3x3(this prevents water flowing behind the gutter),the Ice + water shield is then installed at the top of the 3x3(overhanging 1/4"),and rolled into place with a hand roller,if it`s cooler out,we will use a heat gun to heat the metal and ice shield so it adheres properly,when the ice shield is rolled very well,it does not lift off,in fact if I try to pull the ice shield off,the metal comes with it! Have never,ever,had a problem with this-you get what you pay for!:
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once the gutters are on seal the top of the gutter to the 3x3 with 1/4" bead of clear Geocell tri-polymer sealant
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:38 PM   #4
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Ice dam in a weird place


Firstly, is this on the Northern exposure of the home where the ice and snow build up is occurring?

Using a snow rake and calcium chloride or magnesium chloride will break through the dam, but not solve the problem that created it in the first place.

TRG is probably making a correct observation about the gutter apron drip edge flashing sheet metal. It should span from under the bottom course of shingles into the gutter trough.

It also sounds like you may be having problems with a void in your fascia cladding too.

How else would so much water enter and travel 6 feet through the soffit panels all the way to your homes exterior wall? That assumes that your diagnosis of the problem is correct though.

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Old 03-03-2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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Ice dam in a weird place


Actually, it's on the southern side of the home -- but we are in a heavily wooded area, so the front of the house doesn't get much sun. Also, there's about 4 feet of snow on it -- we live in a snow belt of upstate NY.

I will see if I can get some calcium chloride today...someone suggested taking the gutters down?

The gutter apron drip edge flashing sheet metal definitely doesn't span into the gutter. The gutters were added later, and the drip edge is just a standard drip edge.

I'm not sure what you mean by a 'void in your fascia cladding?'

I think the water is just finding a void in the underlayment/shingles/dripedge and then dripping down onto the soffit panels which are not perforated. Then it just rides the grooves back to the house.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:53 AM   #6
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Ice dam in a weird place


Quote:
Originally Posted by mfitz View Post

I'm not sure what you mean by a 'void in your fascia cladding?'

I think the water is just finding a void in the underlayment/shingles/dripedge and then dripping down onto the soffit panels which are not perforated. Then it just rides the grooves back to the house.
Fascia cladding would be either an aluminum or vinyl fascia covering the original wood fascia board. I was concerned if there was a section of the top edge of the fascia cladding not covered by the gutter apron drip edge metal flashing, which would act as a funnel allowing the drippage to enter behind it and flow through your soffit material.

Usually, ice dam leaks only occur on heated portions of the roof and you stated that your porch was uninsulated and not heated.

There still could be melting snow pooling up behind the lower frozen section as you stated though.

By the way, ice dam damages are covered as an act of God under your home owners insurance policy.

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Old 03-03-2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Ice dam in a weird place


ICE DAMMING OCCURS AT THE START OF THE COLD AREA AFTER THE HEAT ZONE ENDS,WHICH IN TURN CREATES THE ICE DAM ON THE ROOF,ON THE HEATED SIDE OF THE ICE DAM,THE MELTED SNOW/WATER IS PUSHED UNDER THE SHINGLES CREATING THE WATER LEAK IN AREAS WHERE ICE AND WATER SHIELD ARE NOT USED,ON AN UNHEATED PORCH THE GUTTER AREA TENDS TO BE FROZEN AND STAYS THAT WAY,THE HEAT WILL NOT GO OUT THRU COLD AIR 6 FT TO MELT THE ICE IN THE GUTTER,AND THEN TRAIL BACK 6 FT ON VINYL SOFFIT TO THE HOUSE WALL,AND GET INSIDE-IT COULD GET IN THRU THE GAP BETWEEN THE FASCIA AND ROOF SHEATHING ,BUT i DOUBT VERY HIGHLY THIS IS YOUR SITUATION,iT IS AN ICE DAM ON THE ROOF AT THE HEATED /UNHEATED JUNCTURE,WHICH PUSHES WATER BACK THRU THE UNDERLAYMENT,i DOUBT THERE IS iCE +WATER SHIELD AT THAT LOCATION TO PREVENT IT
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:50 PM   #8
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Ice dam in a weird place


So you're saying there's a problem where the house joins the porch? That makes sense.

The thing that made me think it was something to do with the gutters is (a) it only happens when it gets above freezing and the ice/snow starts melting, and (b) there is 3-4" of solid blue ice over the entire porch roof, right to the end where the gutter is full to the top. I have icicles hanging down from the vinyl soffit of my porch, and it's dripping out where the soffit meets the porch posts.

I called the insurance company today, and they said my homeowners covers inside damage. Right now I have water spots on the living room ceiling, and last night I noticed a drip along the inside of one of the bedroom windows. It's running down the inside of the wall and into the basement as well.

I pulled off as much snow as I could, and beat on the ice with a mallet and knocked off big chunks to about 3 feet back on the roof, and got some of those calcium chloride tablets that you place on the roof that are supposed to melt through the ice dams, but not sure what else I can do except try to minimize the damage and then have it repaired in the spring. It was a crappy job anyway, so I doubt it was done right. At the time I had no idea what the right way was, so the roofing guy could have put shingles directly on plywood for all I know.

ps - the drip edge DOES cover the gutter. but it's still only about 3/4 to an inch long.

Last edited by mfitz; 03-03-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:04 PM   #9
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Ice dam in a weird place


basically the heated area fuels the ice dams ,as the ice melts there,the water runs to the unheated space where it freezes,eventually the dam becomes large enough to trap the melting water and push it back where it will go thru the shingles,and paper,andrun into the house walls,the flashing at the gutter should be large enough to go down behind the gutter(not over/or into),then seal the back of the gutter to the flashing(at minimal 1/4" bead of Geoccell 2300,bradco in albany should have--closest I know of a roofer is utica,or winnepeg -e-mail if you need

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