Frozen Gutters


Old 01-11-09, 04:10 PM
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Frozen Gutters

New to this problem. Gutters are frozen solid.
Question is this, is it possible for the frozen water in the gutter to expand to the point where it lifts shingles up enough to allow water to leak into the roof? Seems like it would be. I have water leaking down into the wall of my BR, and wetting the carpet from underneath (inside) the wall. There is no sort of water line at all on this wall, and this is the only logical explanation I can come up with given the the gutters do line up over this particular wall. Roof was installed in 06 as well, so is still in really good shape.

Any thoughts??
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Old 01-11-09, 04:23 PM
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rip off the gutters as soon as you can and leave them off . If you don't maintain them don't have em.
Old 01-11-09, 04:23 PM
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oh yes it is very common with frozen gutters. it is called a ice dam. once you get the gutters clean try laying heat tape in the bottom of the gutter and use for melting the ice, don't run full time as it can be a fire hazard when left on for too long. hopefully more qualified posters will come in and give even better hints.

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Old 01-11-09, 04:44 PM
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I'm liking ameracans reply....if I didn't HAVE to have them...that would be wonderful.

Heat tape or something similar sounds like a good idea. Any thoughts on this type of product that could be thermostatically controlled? Maybe kick on at 28 degrees or something?
Old 01-12-09, 02:16 AM
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Warm, humid air rises from below and enters attic space. If all gaps around perimiter, chimneys, pipes, can lights, or other areas where warm air can enter are not sealed, then this warm air causes snow melt that freezes in gutters. It is important to seal all gaps to prevent air entry from below and to have adequate attic ventilation for air to escape attic as well as adequate insulation. Vapor retarder should have been installed below insulation. If batt insulation was used, the batt side should be turned down toward heated space below. If additional layers have been or are to be added, then faceless batts are required.

Gutters, despite their being troublesome are necessary in areas that receive a lot of rain. They collect water that is carried downward in gutters that should be attached to drains that empty into dry wells, drainage ditch or other. The significance of this is that runoff around foundation can cause basement or slab moisture issues. Depending on roof area and slope, larger gutters are needed to accommodate runoff.

In certain areas of the country, such as desert SW, gutters are not needed. To recommend to remove gutters is irresponsible. Desert SW does not have to worry above runoff and ice dams.

Ice dams can lift shingles. They can also direct water into wall voids and result in mold/mildew damage and decay. You indicate that this is occurring. The wall should be opened up to dry out. Run fans and a dehumidifier to expedite drying. Once insulation becomes wet, it loses its insulative qualities. Thus, you will need to replace insulation.

Address attic issues ASAP to prevent future ice dam problems. Seal gaps, adequate insulation and ventilation.
Old 01-12-09, 02:20 AM
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pasting this from another as it`s a popular problem:
You are getting an ice/water backup,the escaping home heat is melting the bottom of the snow,melting it,and it runs down to the overhang area,where it freezes there ,and in the gutters--this same frozen water in the gutters will melt on the warm side(house side)and cause this melting water to go over the back of your gutters,over the top of your fascia board ,and into the soffit where it runs to the house,and typically down the bearing walls,and/or onto ceilings/wall of living area----you need to have an eave flashing installed behind the gutter,and onto the roof(closes gap between fascia,and roof sheathing),usually a custom bent 3"x3" works well--then install ice and water shield,so it goes minimally 2 ft. past the interior bearing wall--also look at insulation level,you should have R-38(insulation keeps heat in,and away from the bottom of the roof--also make sure you have a balanced ventilation system,consisting of ridge vents,and soffit vents which help release any built up heat in the attic area

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