Ice Dams and Poor Ventilation


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Old 01-10-05, 12:27 AM
D
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Unhappy Ice Dams and Poor Ventilation

I have basically a 1400 square foot ranch style house in Michigan. My eaves are only about 3-4 inches, so I have no soffit vents of any kind. I have a powered roof vent that is on mainly in the summer only (it runs on a thermostat setting of about 85 degrees farenheit). I have about four or five square roof vents.

Is there anything I can do to improve my ventilation in my attic to help reduce the ice damming in winter. I do use a roof rake when the snow piles up which does help. This ventilation thing is really bugging me. Can anyone offer any advice.

Thanks for the help.
 
  #2  
Old 01-10-05, 09:37 AM
orko007
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I actually have a similar issue with ice dams in Michigan as well. Only I have tried to correct it by adding more soffits and i added 40ft or ridge vent and additional insulation. Previously there was only 4 small square vents and very few soffits but i am still getting a large buildup of ice. Last year the ice was large enough and heavey enough that it broke part of my deck when it fell in the spring. we are new to the house and this is only the second winter but even after all the work i did last summer so far it seems like a waste of money.
 
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Old 01-25-05, 06:09 AM
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Do you have an attic or vaulted ceilings?
Jim
 
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Old 01-25-05, 11:04 AM
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Hello Jim,

I have an attic. It's not much of an attic though, there is only about 4' between the attic floor and the highest point of the roof. I do not have a gable end. The roof is basically diamond shaped with gutters on all sides of the house.

Thanks,
Matt
 
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Old 01-25-05, 01:52 PM
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Sounds like you have a hip roof with a very small overhang. Dont know if you homoe is sided yet or not, but your best bet to get air into your attic, would be to remove the 1x or 2x whatever they used to fill in the soffit. Make darn sure there is'nt insulation plugging the area between the top plate and your soffit area-I'd be willing to bet your house has this area plugged full so no air is entering the attic space and is alot of the problem.

Install new vented soffit, or center vent soffit all the way around you house to insure air is getting up into your attic.

You can add soffit vents all day long, but as long as the area where the rafter/truss sits on the top plate is plugged with insulation there will be no way to get air circulation going and that circulation is key. It's a dirty job cleaning out those areas, but you will see these problems go away after you remove the plugs. On every house I side I give the option before I install the new soffit to check out the situtation and remedy it since almost every house built back in the day has plugged that area with insulation or fiber board.
 
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Old 01-25-05, 06:07 PM
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I agree w/IHI. Add soffit ventilation & insulation. The soffit venting should be greater than or equal to the ridge venting (or turtlevents). Min ratio is 1ft venting for each 300 sq ft ceiling area (1:300). 1:150 is better.
Jim
 
 

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