Winter Roof Repair?

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Old 01-09-03, 08:28 PM
AS
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Winter Roof Repair?

I was hoping people who read this forum could offer some opinions. I live in the Northeast (New Hampshire) and we have had a very snowy winter thus far. Because of this we are experiencing a reoccuring "ice damming problem" on our roof, where we are actually getting water into the home. This roof is an original builder roof that was not properly installed nor was any ice/water shield used during installation. We are certain the roof needs to be replaced in order to properly rectify this problem long term.

The question I would appreciate some feedback on is the following. Is there any disadvantages or risks to having a roof installed during the winter months? Becuase the condition has become serious we must consider this option now. I wanted to know if this would be a mistake?

Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank You.
 
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Old 01-10-03, 02:49 AM
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no mistake you might even get a break on prices cause alot of roofers are out of work this time of year.only thing about winter roofing is the shingles take a little longer to seal to each other.
pricewise though now that i think alittle more about it,i would charge a bunch more to do it right now-cause i hate the cold but you might be able to find someone to do it.
 
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Old 01-10-03, 06:06 AM
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You can shingle now. Not a problem. Just got done with two roofs in a lot colder place then where you live. Two things to do.
Do not buy a cheap shingle. Look at the Oakridge 30 or 40 year, 250 lb, 3 dimensional. Or something similar. Your roofer will probably heat the shingles if it is real cold and have a runner bring them up to him. Put your ice and frost around all edges and up all valleys. Good Luck
 
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Old 01-10-03, 04:45 PM
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Ice dams

A new roof will not resolve the ice dam problems. Ice dams form when the roof temperature exceeds 32 degrees and the outside air temperature is less. This is a result of heat loss through the roof. Heat loss from the home through the attic and then the roof tends to result in melted snow and ice on the roof. Another source of heat to the roof can be exhaust systems like those in the kitchen or bathroom that terminate just above the roof. Another source of heat may be a chimney, where heat is transferred into the attic space. Duct work that is not properly insulated or leaky ducts can release heat into the attic.

My mountain cabin has ice dams and huge icicles. I have a dropped ceiling with 2x4' ceiling tiles over which there is insulation, but the 2x4' fluorescent lights allow heat to escape to the attic space above. When I am there in winter and I have snow and ice, the icicles are bigger than I. The heat from my wood fire rises through to the roof and melts the snow on the roof, resulting in a house hung with icicles. While everyone else is decorating their homes with the icicle lights for Christmas, my mountain cabin has real icicles.

Of course, we could eliminate the problem by keeping our roof swept clean of snow. Who wants to do that? It is better to increase the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss. You can go to www.doityourself.com/insulate to calculate the R-value recommended for your ZIP. Air tight ceilings are best to stop air flow from the heated areas in your home into the attic.

Many experts do not recommend mechanical attic ventilation because it can create other attic moisture problems and may cause undesirable negative pressure in the home.

You can hire a professional to check your home for air tightness. Energy Management and Conservation Consultants or Insulation Contractors in the Yellow Pages, are professionals who can deal with the heat transfer problem that creates ice dams. They need to do a blower door test to evaluate the airtightness of your ceiling. Some use an infrared camera that can be used to find places in the ceiling where there is excessive heat loss.

The proper new construction practices to prevent ice dams begin with following or exceeding the state code requirements for ceiling/roof insulation levels.

A 100% effective air barrier through the ceiling to prevent any air leakage is preferred. Recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will all increase the risk of ice dam formation. And, my flourescent 2x4' light fixtures are an open avenue to release heat to the roof to melt snow and ice. So, when I win the lottery or find a rich man, I will be able to do something about preventing ice dams.
 
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Old 01-11-03, 06:48 AM
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Twelvepole did have a problem with his roof, but I think your ice dam problem, looking a the weather you have had, is that your roof and gutters filled with snow. It warmed up a little, snow melted, it could not run out your gutters, so it backed up under your shingles. This is where ice and frost takes over and keeps it from going into your home.
 
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Old 01-18-03, 06:52 AM
lbi2000
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To Get You Thru The Winter

Here is what my neighbor does with a similar problem for the long snow periods and he is having no water come in his house anymore :

1) Run the zig zag heated wiring along the ridge of your roof.. they are in Lowes/HomeDepot.... also run a length of it along the gutter and down your gutter spout where you simply plug it in from the plug right there ! This ensures that no ice damns form for the entire ridge of the home where they typically form.

2) He has roof line where there is a seam on roof that builds up with snow... he is running one of these heated wires down that seam too.... no problems here either.

The thing works great and all the neighors are getting them installed to.... it takes about a 1/2 day to put them down. You can do it yourself. Be careful on the ladder.

p.s. If you have the ice damns already.... hookup a hose to the hot water spicket off your water heater plumbing and get up there and melt the damn down to clean roof.... then install the wiring.

The roofers may not like this idea because in their mind it may not be solving the 'real' problem... but it might save you a TON of money without reducing the value of your home and taking a ton of nerves of your mind Good Luck.
 
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Old 01-18-03, 05:19 PM
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Heated roof wiring is getting more common everyday. In fact in many parts of the country especailly in the northern part, It must be installed on nursing homes, and in some cases hospitals. It works great.
 
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Old 01-21-03, 04:15 PM
woodpecker
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as
you got ice damn problems and we are pretty close (geographicly)
you got gutters where you are having the problem? gutters are the biggest problem for an improperly installed roof.(improperly installed roof) if you remove the gutters there will be nothing to damn(he said damn) the water. if your roof isnt to old, its pretty common for a roofer strip back 4' of roof to install the "ice and water" well if its a one layer roof.
 
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Old 01-21-03, 05:00 PM
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woodpecker what exactly do you do?
 
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Old 01-21-03, 05:38 PM
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im a self employed carpenter w/ 15 yrs. experience. im from boston so ive dealt with the same exact problem. i love my job and just found this site so i promise i will give sound advice.
 
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Old 01-21-03, 06:54 PM
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lol im sure will enjoy this sound advice lol
 
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Old 01-21-03, 08:24 PM
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its advice from a guy whos been busy fixing roofs exactly like yours.
take it or leave it
 
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Old 01-21-03, 08:56 PM
woodpecker
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do you have gutters?
 
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Old 01-21-03, 09:43 PM
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woodpecker,

You know that apprehension you talked about, you just confirmed it for me. Here is my 2 cents worth on the ice dam situation.

Gutters are a problem only when the lack of ventilation is an issue as well as lack of insulation. I come from Minnesota and started there in construction. When you live up by Duluth, it is imperative that ventilation and insulation work hand in hand. Here in Michigan, most homes don't have much, if any for a soffits, you ought to see the ice dams and damage to the roofs. Small gable vents just don't do it. This area is a GOOD roofers paradise!

Ice dams can create problems by damaging your shingles and causing leaks. Ice forms when the heat escaping from your house melts the snow on the roof. This water runs down the roof and then freezes when it reaches the eaves. Gutters just make things worse if the problem is not resolved properly but having gutters doesn't make the problem. The problem starts before the gutters, in most cases.

The permanent solution to this problem is a combination of insulation and ventilation. The extra insulation is to slow down the heat loss from your house, the ventilation allows the heat to dissipate before it can melt the snow.

Most homes that have a problem with ice have poor attic ventilation, so look for ways to get the air moving. Make sure that the soffit vents are clear. Install gable vents or extra roof vents. In some situations you may wish to put a fan to draw air through the attic but I frown on this even though they work.

There are other temporary solutions that are available like heat tapes, but items like these only treat the symptoms and can actually do more damage, like putting nail holes in the roof or damaging the shingles.

If you have a situation where you have ice dams forming, you may want to watch your roof in warm weather. Since snow melts faster than ice, the ice dams can prevent water from draining off your roof, forming a pool of water. Hence interior damage could be found.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 01-16-09, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by twelvepole View Post
A new roof will not resolve the ice dam problems. Ice dams form when the roof temperature exceeds 32 degrees and the outside air temperature is less. This is a result of heat loss through the roof. Heat loss from the home through the attic and then the roof tends to result in melted snow and ice on the roof. Another source of heat to the roof can be exhaust systems like those in the kitchen or bathroom that terminate just above the roof. Another source of heat may be a chimney, where heat is transferred into the attic space. Duct work that is not properly insulated or leaky ducts can release heat into the attic.

My mountain cabin has ice dams and huge icicles. I have a dropped ceiling with 2x4' ceiling tiles over which there is insulation, but the 2x4' fluorescent lights allow heat to escape to the attic space above. When I am there in winter and I have snow and ice, the icicles are bigger than I. The heat from my wood fire rises through to the roof and melts the snow on the roof, resulting in a house hung with icicles. While everyone else is decorating their homes with the icicle lights for Christmas, my mountain cabin has real icicles.

Of course, we could eliminate the problem by keeping our roof swept clean of snow. Who wants to do that? It is better to increase the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss. You can go to www.doityourself.com/insulate to calculate the R-value recommended for your ZIP. Air tight ceilings are best to stop air flow from the heated areas in your home into the attic.

Many experts do not recommend mechanical attic ventilation because it can create other attic moisture problems and may cause undesirable negative pressure in the home.

You can hire a professional to check your home for air tightness. Energy Management and Conservation Consultants or Insulation Contractors in the Yellow Pages, are professionals who can deal with the heat transfer problem that creates ice dams. They need to do a blower door test to evaluate the airtightness of your ceiling. Some use an infrared camera that can be used to find places in the ceiling where there is excessive heat loss.

The proper new construction practices to prevent ice dams begin with following or exceeding the state code requirements for ceiling/roof insulation levels.

A 100% effective air barrier through the ceiling to prevent any air leakage is preferred. Recessed lights, skylights, complicated roof designs, and heating ducts in the attic will all increase the risk of ice dam formation. And, my flourescent 2x4' light fixtures are an open avenue to release heat to the roof to melt snow and ice. So, when I win the lottery or find a rich man, I will be able to do something about preventing ice dams.
Hello I was reading this old thread you wrote from 2003. It helped me. I have ice dams in copper downspouts, forming on a flat roof. Roof is only 5 years old, but serious water came into the building today, with this big freeze we're in. I couldn't understand where running water could come from on a -15 day, but it must be from some heat / roof leak. Do I use the heated wire solution for a flat roof. Roof has slight pitch to the west, where the main downspout system is and is full of dams. thanks for your help
 
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Old 01-20-09, 09:19 PM
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no problem doing the roof in the lower temps-be sure to flash behind the gutter properly,before installing the ice +water shield, Dan put it best with his two principles,but I always go with 3,The two Dan mentioned,and proper waterproofing/flashing at the gutter eave
 
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