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Old 04-05-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Roof leaked when there was a big accumulation of snow on the roof and the ice formed and it melted. It has rained a lot and it hasn’t leaked at all. The damage inside the house was a crack of about 3 ft. Now I am not sure how old the roof is, but it may be some 12 years old. No apparent damage that one can see, only couple of loose shingles, not sure if that is such a big deal.

I already got couple of people coming over to check out the roof and this is what they’ve told me.

1- One said the material used in the roof (shingles) was not the best material as the roof is not raised enough and I needed to change the whole roof immediately with another material made or rubber because the wood inside the shingles would get damaged.
2-The second person said it was true that shingles were not the best material to be used in that type of roof, but didn't see any damages in the roof and didn't see anything wrong, to check the roof and see if there were some more damages with the rain and just gave me an estimate for the repairs inside the house. He said the water maybe filtrated through the air vent.
3- Since I got two different opinions I got a third person. He said the same thing as the third person, shingles were not the best thing to use, but he didn't see any damage in the roof and I most likely would need to change the roof eventually depending on how the weather was and such. He said he could put a coating in the area where the leak occurred, but there were no guarantees (nor sure if shingles normally use coating), but it could help, and he also gave me an estimate for fixing the inside.
Now, this is the first time I’ve had any roof problems and I am not sure which approach to go with. Any suggestions are welcome also suggestions on materials to use in case I change the roof.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:04 PM   #2
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Where are you located ?

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Old 04-05-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


As a long-time northeast dweller I would speculate that the leak you experienced was most likely caused by water backing up under your ice barrier from the probable ice jam you described. The used to go 3 ft from the edge with the snow and ice barrier they now go 6ft from the edge.

As a guy who recently had his roof replace I concur that shingles are inappropriate for such a low pitch and they were correct in recommending EPDM or something else for low-slope roofs. But, I do not share roofer number one's sense of urgency since it has held the rain out since the ice melted. It is somethong you will want to consider for the future though.

For harsh winters, I consider my roof rake to be the best investment I have made and do go the extra 10 dllars for the better grade. It is usually adaquate to keep the snow from accumulating on the unheated overhang before it turns to ice and not necessary to clean off the entire roof. Just be careful when raking and avoid pulling shingles and gutter hangers loose.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:07 AM   #4
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Scuba_dave, in the DC Metropolitan area.

Jim F, thanks for the great information. I will just have to check on how the roof holds next year. Do you have any idea if a coating on the area where the ice accumulated and probably started to melt would be of any use? my guess is not really at it is shingles, but I now little when it comes to roofing.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:23 PM   #5
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Well I was getting ready soon to have an inspection done as I have had a very similar problem msyelf!

I moved into an old house 2 years ago. Everything looked perfect at first, but after the first winter two corners of the house got stained in the ceiling. Now that the other winter has gone past, all four corners are stained, and the others are worse.

I don't get what's going on, it seems to only have happened during snow meltage (but not sure).

My roof steep enough so I'm not sure what the problem is. The edge of the roof hangs out at least a metre from the walls, so this has me puzzled even more. I try to look up in the attack during rain storms but i don't see anything obviously wrong.

To be honest, it may not be a problem with the roof itself but maybe where part of the foundation meets the roof? Maybe I shouldn't get a roof inspector to take a look, but someone more well rounded? I'm just a newbie here like everyone else.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


As a fellow Washingtonian, I note that it sounds like you're calling in handy men as they seem to be willing to fix the roof AND the interior damage. This is a big, big mistake. Handymen around here are less than a dime a dozen. They may be fine to do the interior repairs, but I wouldn't let them touch my roof. Just my two cents!
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Quote:
Originally Posted by chasqui View Post
Scuba_dave, in the DC Metropolitan area.

Jim F, thanks for the great information. I will just have to check on how the roof holds next year. Do you have any idea if a coating on the area where the ice accumulated and probably started to melt would be of any use? my guess is not really at it is shingles, but I now little when it comes to roofing.
That probably won't so;ve your problem if it was caused by an ice jam (dam) Here is a link with some useful information http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/arti...131314,00.html and there is a lot more info in the web. The problem is that the snow on the heated roof melts then meets the unheated eave and turns to ice. It wil probably find the same path if the same conditions are met again next winter. Fortunatel in you area this is probably not a problem most winters but you did have that big storm this past winter.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Quote:
Originally Posted by stubits View Post
As a fellow Washingtonian, I note that it sounds like you're calling in handy men as they seem to be willing to fix the roof AND the interior damage. This is a big, big mistake. Handymen around here are less than a dime a dozen. They may be fine to do the interior repairs, but I wouldn't let them touch my roof. Just my two cents!
I actually called a handy man who works on roofs mainly and two roofing contractors (the 1st one and the last).
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:05 PM   #9
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


That ice-dam issue very well looks like what could have been the culprit at my end as well. For some reason I never remember experiencing problems like this in my other homes, despite we always had an obvious case of ice-sickles.

But I'm not so sure I agree with the explanation that ice-sickles immediately means bad roof-venting and bad insulation. I've seen this on everything from our in-active sheds to the dog-house.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:43 PM   #10
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


Icicles by themselves may not be a problem but they do bear watching particularly on the north side and following a heavy snowfall. The conditions that cause icicle formation do not necessarily lead to ice dams but too much accumulation of icicles and ice on the gutters will take them down. We're talking extremes here. If you live in an area where you can get 3 ft of snow dumped on your roof overnight followed by multiple freeze and thaw cycles you know what I'm talking about.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:02 PM   #11
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Replace the roof or not??? Leaked only once when it snowed


I rigged up an attic gable vent fan to run by a switch that bypassed the thermostat so I could bring cold air into the attic in winter and prevent ice dams, like we had one crazy winter years ago when everyone around here had interior drywall damage.

Never had another ice dam so never got to test it.

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