Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Roofing/Siding

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-15-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Share |
Default

leaks from ice dams


I live in MA, in a 1960 "multi"-style house. Basically the roof line goes up from left or right edge to center, with a 2' drip edge on each end. Each side of the roof is about 9 squares. The house is a rectangle, with a small 12x12 additional section behind the left side. Unfortunately, the roof pitch is barely code (4:12), and a bit below code on the left side (apparently the original owner wanted his living room 2' bigger, so they made the roof shallower rather than raising the peak :-{ ). It's also badly insulated in places. Under the cathedral (left side) there's only a few inches of aluminum-foil-bagged-fluff inside the 2x6 rafter space. In the middle, thereís a floor above 2x6s with R-13 in the floor. On the right side it was about R-15-R25 but I recently (after the damage I will now discuss) improved it to R30-R40. The additional section has itís own sealed attic with R-30 throughout. There are good sized (and not-blocked) ridge and soffit vents throughout.

As you may guess, I've had problems with ice-dams. However, last year, when it was time to re-roof, I hired a person who had been a friend for several years and has run his own successful roofing company for even longer. We discussed what to do, and ended up putting on architectural shingles, and 12' of ice/water barrier on the left (shallower) side, and 9' on the other. He also did a thorough job sealing around my chimney (on the left side). I thought my problems were over for good.

The results have been mixed. We had a lot of snow this winter, and parts of the roof that used to give me problems (left side) stayed dry, but other parts have had significant seepage/leakage. I had significant seepage on the right side (over bedrooms, where it's better insulated), and some leaking in the left rear section. Admittedly when I cleared the snow on the right side, I found 2-3" of water under it, but in the left rear I found only about 1/2", maybe less. I also got some drips into my (left side) living room half-way up the roof.

On one hand, I don't think the contractor did a shoddy job, and we're both scratching our heads as to why there were so many leaks. (especially as I noticed his crew used what looked like staple guns? So the I/W barrier shouldn't have been punctured?). He said he's seeing this at other jobs he did, and thinks that because I/W barrier got so expensive, they also don't make it as well. I don't have an opinion. The only other time I had water leaking in on the right side of my house, the assumption was that the I/W barrier failed, and I paid to have the bottom 6' redone (I/W Barrier and shingles), and that fixed it, but that was on a 10-year-old roof, not a new one.

He's offered to comp me the labor for whatever solution we agree on. He's leaning toward ice wires, I'm leaning toward metal roof flashing (or as I call it, aluminum Ice/Water barrier), as I'd prefer a passive solution. Also, most of the problems appear to happen in the few feet above the drip edge so if I can cover the bottom 6-8' of the roof on both sides with aluminum, I'd like to think that the water buildup will stay on top of the barrier. (Although, the pitch may not be sufficient for the snow/ice to slide off). Another concern is that there's a 1-level attached garage to the right side of the house (with sufficiently pitched roofs, front-to-back) so I don't know if it's bad if the snow/ice starts sliding off the main roof onto the garage roof.

I've also considered asking him to rip up the bottom 8' on both sides and try again, but that would imply that he somehow did it wrong on both sides, (and will do it better the 2nd time) which I'm not sure is the case. I mean, on the right side, the I/WB was laid -over- the old one (from the repair I mentioned), and it STILL wasn't sufficient to keep from ruining part of an interior wall. Go figure?

So basically I'm looking for ideas/suggestions, etc. I don't want to "go after" the contractor, I want to work with him to get the right solution. My goal is simply to have a dry house.

One more thing: I understand that the ďrightĒ solutions can involve
- better sealing the attic floor so that moisture doesnít rise from below

- turning off the whole-house humidifier
- adding more insulation to floored and cathedral sections
- increasing the pitch of the roof

However, none of these are really options. Thereís an A/C air handler and duct system in the attic, so removing all the existing insulation and flooring and starting over would be a huge job. Also, trying to insulate the cathedral is difficult because there is access only at the top and bottom, and thereís only 5 1/2Ē of space, which has to include air-space. For health reasons I donít want to turn of the humidifier (itís adjusted to 35%), and I donít want to rebuild my house. 8-}

Iím wondering if thereís anything I can do to mitigate the current situation. I already doubled the insulation in the part of the attic that I can access. I'm wondering if the metal flashing might make sense, and whether Ice wires are an option. Or maybe this shouldnít be happening and I should have a different roofer re-do the bottom of both sides of the roof. I donít know. Thatís why Iím asking.

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks in advance for your help.
/j

jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 04:19 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,722
Default

leaks from ice dams


That's a lengthy description of your problem but still not as good as a few pictures. With that much Ice and water barrier, it doesn't seem likely that the water is creeping in up above that. This the useal suspect with ice dams and water intrusion. That leaves either a compromised IWB or improper edge sealing IMO. But like I said, pictures would help.

Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


Well, now the roof is clear and dry. I'm happy to take pics, but not sure what you want to look at. Right now it looks like a nice dry roof 8-}

I agree that the water did not get above the barrier, it did get to 2-3" deep over the barrier. I also agree that the symptoms seem to indicate a poorly installed or failing I/W Barrier, but the roof was just done, and by guys who seemed to know what they're doing. I have to wonder if using all my ammunition on getting them to re-do it is the best way to go.

what do you mean by "improper edge sealing"?

thanks!!
/j
jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
Framing Contractor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,758
Default

leaks from ice dams


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffw_00 View Post
I live in MA, in a 1960 "multi"-style house. Basically the roof line goes up from left or right edge to center, with a 2' drip edge on each end. Each side of the roof is about 9 squares. The house is a rectangle, with a small 12x12 additional section behind the left side. Unfortunately, the roof pitch is barely code (4:12), and a bit below code on the left side (apparently the original owner wanted his living room 2' bigger, so they made the roof shallower rather than raising the peak :-{ ). It's also badly insulated in places. Under the cathedral (left side) there's only a few inches of aluminum-foil-bagged-fluff inside the 2x6 rafter space. In the middle, there’s a floor above 2x6s with R-13 in the floor. On the right side it was about R-15-R25 but I recently (after the damage I will now discuss) improved it to R30-R40. The additional section has it’s own sealed attic with R-30 throughout. There are good sized (and not-blocked) ridge and soffit vents throughout.

As you may guess, I've had problems with ice-dams. However, last year, when it was time to re-roof, I hired a person who had been a friend for several years and has run his own successful roofing company for even longer. We discussed what to do, and ended up putting on architectural shingles, and 12' of ice/water barrier on the left (shallower) side, and 9' on the other. He also did a thorough job sealing around my chimney (on the left side). I thought my problems were over for good.

The results have been mixed. We had a lot of snow this winter, and parts of the roof that used to give me problems (left side) stayed dry, but other parts have had significant seepage/leakage. I had significant seepage on the right side (over bedrooms, where it's better insulated), and some leaking in the left rear section. Admittedly when I cleared the snow on the right side, I found 2-3" of water under it, but in the left rear I found only about 1/2", maybe less. I also got some drips into my (left side) living room half-way up the roof.

On one hand, I don't think the contractor did a shoddy job, and we're both scratching our heads as to why there were so many leaks. (especially as I noticed his crew used what looked like staple guns? So the I/W barrier shouldn't have been punctured?). He said he's seeing this at other jobs he did, and thinks that because I/W barrier got so expensive, they also don't make it as well. I don't have an opinion. The only other time I had water leaking in on the right side of my house, the assumption was that the I/W barrier failed, and I paid to have the bottom 6' redone (I/W Barrier and shingles), and that fixed it, but that was on a 10-year-old roof, not a new one.

He's offered to comp me the labor for whatever solution we agree on. He's leaning toward ice wires, I'm leaning toward metal roof flashing (or as I call it, aluminum Ice/Water barrier), as I'd prefer a passive solution. Also, most of the problems appear to happen in the few feet above the drip edge so if I can cover the bottom 6-8' of the roof on both sides with aluminum, I'd like to think that the water buildup will stay on top of the barrier. (Although, the pitch may not be sufficient for the snow/ice to slide off). Another concern is that there's a 1-level attached garage to the right side of the house (with sufficiently pitched roofs, front-to-back) so I don't know if it's bad if the snow/ice starts sliding off the main roof onto the garage roof.

I've also considered asking him to rip up the bottom 8' on both sides and try again, but that would imply that he somehow did it wrong on both sides, (and will do it better the 2nd time) which I'm not sure is the case. I mean, on the right side, the I/WB was laid -over- the old one (from the repair I mentioned), and it STILL wasn't sufficient to keep from ruining part of an interior wall. Go figure?

So basically I'm looking for ideas/suggestions, etc. I don't want to "go after" the contractor, I want to work with him to get the right solution. My goal is simply to have a dry house.

One more thing: I understand that the “right” solutions can involve
- better sealing the attic floor so that moisture doesn’t rise from below

- turning off the whole-house humidifier
- adding more insulation to floored and cathedral sections
- increasing the pitch of the roof

However, none of these are really options. There’s an A/C air handler and duct system in the attic, so removing all the existing insulation and flooring and starting over would be a huge job. Also, trying to insulate the cathedral is difficult because there is access only at the top and bottom, and there’s only 5 1/2” of space, which has to include air-space. For health reasons I don’t want to turn of the humidifier (it’s adjusted to 35%), and I don’t want to rebuild my house. 8-}

I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to mitigate the current situation. I already doubled the insulation in the part of the attic that I can access. I'm wondering if the metal flashing might make sense, and whether Ice wires are an option. Or maybe this shouldn’t be happening and I should have a different roofer re-do the bottom of both sides of the roof. I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking.

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks in advance for your help.
/j
This is from another site about Ice Dams.



http://www.snomelt.com/


http://www.meltsnow.com/msds-ice-ban.htm this is the one I was talking about in a laer post. Ice Ban.

http://www.unique-idea.com/BGS-1.htm this one is readily available, called Bare Ground, available from this outlet, directly linked from Bare Grounds home page store link.

http://www.iceviper.com/
__________________
Joe Carola
Joe Carola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


Thanks - but any solution that has me walking all over the roof, spreading (my calc) ~ 400sq ft of deicer for every storm, isn't what I'm looking for (I'm getting a bit old to be walking icy roofs). The icemelt socks are interesting, and can be imitated with a nylon stocking, but they still need to be placed before every storm, and if there's 6" of snow on the roof, and there's a tunnel from the stocking you placed after the last storm, it's not clear to me how you place one for the -next- storm. The ones that I've made aren't potent enough to eat -through- an ice dam...

Metal flashing isn't going to help me, huh? 8-}
thanks!
/j
jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,722
Default

leaks from ice dams


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffw_00 View Post
Thanks - but any solution that has me walking all over the roof, spreading (my calc) ~ 400sq ft of deicer for every storm, isn't what I'm looking for (I'm getting a bit old to be walking icy roofs). The icemelt socks are interesting, and can be imitated with a nylon stocking, but they still need to be placed before every storm, and if there's 6" of snow on the roof, and there's a tunnel from the stocking you placed after the last storm, it's not clear to me how you place one for the -next- storm. The ones that I've made aren't potent enough to eat -through- an ice dam...

Metal flashing isn't going to help me, huh? 8-}
thanks!
/j
How about a roof rake. http://www.amazon.com/Suncast-SRR210...7813649&sr=1-2 Just at the edges where the melting snow from the heated portions of the roof meets the unheated overhang. After a significant snowfall. 2-3 inches of water buildup is asking a lot of any roof come to think of it. This has been a sever winter with multiple small snowstorms followed by longer that usual freezing periods. I found myself raking my gutter edges with the roof rake after every snow fall this year. Try home maintenence next winter season before the ice dams get severe. If it still leaks, then you can start looking at the roof installation. Most roofers warranty their work 7-10 years.
Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


Hi - a Roof rake wouldn't work for me (access issues), walking onto the roof and using a shovel does work, and if that's the only solution I will resign myself to it, but some have suggested 4-8' of metal flashing, ice wires, etc. these are all a waste of effort?

thanks
/j
jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 07:12 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,722
Default

leaks from ice dams


Here is where pictures would have help me. Your description is a little confusing. Is the 4:12 pitch on the main house of the addition? Is the shallow pitch the reason you cannot access the edge of your roof with the snow rake? Climbing on roofs is the winter is dangerous.

As far exterior gutter edge flashing you ask about goes, here are some before and after pictures of my house roof with, then without the flashing. Ugly, ugly ugly IMO. On top of that, it did absolutely nothing to prevent ice dams.

Admittedly, my soffit to ridge ventilation is not properly balanced, nor is the attic adaquately insulated. The soffit intake has to be exactly 1/2 the square area of the ridge vent on each side and has to be continious in addition to proper attic ventilation to prevent ice from forming.

I have been paying more attention to this around town this winter. It seems that most of the newer constructed homes are free of ice damming whereas most of the older homes, inspite of the presence of soffit and ridge ventillation still have ice forming on the edges.

I still say that failing adaquate ventillation and insulation, preventative maintenance is your best defense.
Attached Thumbnails
leaks from ice dams-0820090928b.jpg   leaks from ice dams-2009dec4_3.jpg  
Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 07:29 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


Hi Jim - Ok - let me try to take some pics from the street tomorrow.

the entire house has 4:12 pitch, or less.

There's a dormer on the back 1/2 of one side of the house, so I can access the roof by climbing out a window, However, on the right side is an attached garage so no access from the ground. On the left side I could try to access from the ground but it's 12' up and there are trees and bushes in the way.

Fortunately, my roof is such that no one would see the flashing. I would probably want to have at least 2x as much as you show. My guess is that your dams extended above the flashing. I'm thinking of 4-8'.

Regular (per storm) maintenance is a last resort for me, I haven't given up yet 8-}
/j
jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,722
Default

leaks from ice dams


Nope. Ice on the the ugly metal flashing, on the gutters, on the shingles above the flashing. It got so bad one year it took down the gutter and did a lot of damage the small shrub to the left of the porch. It still has not fully recovered.

Metal is a great conductor of cold. Water freezes on it very quickly like when a kid sticks his tongue on flag pole. The reflective nature of the metal actually kept it cold longer. The forest green architectural shingle you see heats up faster and melts the ice quicker that the metal flashing that was on there before.

If you go further up with the flashing than the water backs up from the ice, I suppose it will stop it from leaking in as long as there are no seams of screws in the flashing that fail.

If you go 8' up with the flashing, how much shingle will you have still showing? I remeber what 6' of IWS looked like on my roof when it was going on. A couple of more feet would have covered up to the ridge.
Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 08:29 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


My ice would not extend above the flashing. I thought the aluminum is meant to catch the heat of the sun and warm it up?

If I go 8' with the flashing, I will still have > 20ft of shingle showing.
/j
jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 09:35 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,722
Default

leaks from ice dams


Aluminum reflects the sun which reduces the absorption of heat. Dark colors absorb the sun and heat up. It doesn't cost anything to get estimates and opinions from roofing contractors. It might be interesting to hear what an unbiased third party says about your friend's work.
Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2011, 08:37 AM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


Here are some pictures - getting another roofer out here is an interesting idea, although not sure what he can deduce visually. The roof surface looks fine, I think...
Attached Thumbnails
leaks from ice dams-img00084.jpg   leaks from ice dams-img00085.jpg   leaks from ice dams-img00086.jpg   leaks from ice dams-img00087.jpg  
jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
old timer
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 104
Default

leaks from ice dams


"Improper edge sealing" The last roofer might have installed the ice shield wrong.
Check out this link for the right way to install ice shield.



If it is not that visible, a modified bitumen or similar flat roof material might be a good idea for the lower edge of the roof.
The heat tape will work, but it's ugly and needs maintenance.

Last edited by Gary in WA; 03-18-2011 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Participants may not post any message that directs others to any pages at their own commercial web site, including informatio
dmc@RCR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2011, 08:56 AM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 25
Default

leaks from ice dams


I think I will have another roofer look at it - no drip edge on the side, I think. The flat roof material is a good idea - unless... will it dam where the top of the flat roof stops?

jeffw_00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
dormer window leaks billygne1 General DIY Discussions 6 03-28-2014 04:52 AM
3 season room roof leaks rod altman Carpentry 7 12-22-2010 09:56 AM
Ridge Vent: Cause of massive leaks? ShortEdged Roofing/Siding 28 08-26-2010 10:15 PM
Ice Dams & Leaks - New Roof? homesweet Roofing/Siding 4 02-06-2009 05:29 PM
Flat roof - Rolled? - leaks Advice? JJ2001 Roofing/Siding 4 11-19-2006 06:17 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.