Melting snow

Old 01-01-00, 02:20 PM
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ok. here's the situation.

Snow melts on my roof when it's below 32 deg creating icicles. I take this to be proof that I am loosing heat through my roof (obviously) and am curious about fixing this. A big part of my roof is met on the inside of the house by the ceilings of my upstairs rooms. Will it help to do a tear off, and add a second layer of 2x4's and plywood to create a dead space? How could I possibly save more energy in the winter? I'm planning on checking my insulation in my 2nd floor ceiling between the roof, but the sections of upstairs that meet the roof are still a problem.
Old 01-01-00, 06:09 PM
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Personally, I would not add another roof on top of the other one. You could have a weight problem with your rafters or trusses.
I would tear off the upstairs ceiling and some of the walls if necessary and reinsulate
the roof. Quite a job. will be dusty and messy. But you are right. It is an insulation problem. Good Luck

Jack the Contractor
Old 01-12-00, 12:10 AM
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The problem is possibly three fold:

1) You do not have enough insulation at the point where
the exterior wall meets the roof. This is a problem on
a lot of houses. To fix this problem you have to first
install air chutes between the rafters and then fill in
as much insulation as you can get in there. (Do not
pack it really tight because that will defeat the

2) You may not have enough insulation in the entire
ceiling area and thus causing heat to escape all across
the ceiling. In this case add some insulation to the
entire attic area. You should have at least 12 inches
of insulation in a climate that is causing ice to form
on the eaves of the roof. I hope you can get up there
to do this work because I would hate to see you tear
your house apart to do this. Also, You can do it from
the soffits of the house by simply removing the soffits,
installing the air chutes and putting insulation in
under the air chute and on top of the plate. When you
do this, use fiberglass batts.

3) As long as the ice stays on the outside there is not
a problem (except for ice that can fall on someone and
hurt them) The real problem here is if the water that
is melting is causing an ice dam and the ice dam is
backing up water into the house. This can be resolved
when you reroof the house by adding "ice and water"
protective film to the roof boards prior to reroofing
the house. It should be done anyway in a cold climate
such as yours. When adding this membrane, it should
start at the edge of the eaves and extend up the roof
along the bottom of the roof to a minimum of two feet
inside the exterior wall line of the house. It should
also be installed in the valley(s).

Another thing to mention is that maybe your problem is
not the loss of heat in the first place. Often when
the sun shines on a roof, especially if you have black
shingles, it will melt the snow and when the water
begins to drip off of the roof, it is no longer as
warm as the black roofing and it forms ice. When this
happens it seldom causes ice dams to occur.

Clifford A. Olson, Home Inspector
AC Home Inspector - *Free* ezine Subject=DIY
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Old 01-29-00, 12:43 PM
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I have ice dams (my roof has the anti icing treatment three foot up)on my roof and my guters are frozen. Should I be concerns and what can I do to get rid of the ice dams?
Old 02-01-00, 01:22 AM
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First of all, if you have an anti-icing treatment three
feet up, then you must have less than a twelve inch soffit.
The ice and water protection should extend up the roof a
minimum of two feet from the inside of the exterior wall
of the house. If your eaves or soffit is greater than
about 8 inches, assuming that your walls are 4 inches thick,
then you do not have enough protection. Ice and water
protection is designed to keep the water from the coming
into the house. It does not keep ice dams from forming.

If the "anti-icing treatment" is an electrical heat tape
installed at the edge of the roof, that should keep the
ice from forming but it should be plugged in at all times
and it could be expensive on the electric bill.

The main reason as to why you are getting ice dams is the
lack of insulation in the attic area and particularily
around the perimeter of the house. When adding the
insulation, be sure to also make sure that you have the
area between each rafter vented so air can pass from the
soffit area to the attic area or you will have moisture
problems that are from condensation withing the attic/
soffit areas.

Clifford A. Olson, Home Inspector
FreeHomeTips - *Free* ezine
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