Ice Dam on the new installed roof

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Old 01-23-09, 07:09 PM
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Ice Dam on the new installed roof

Last summer we hired somebody install a new roof, now this winter, we found the ice dam and leaking from the roof - before the new roof, we didn't pay attention to the ice dam, but had no leaking. So we called the installer, he said there was nothing to do with him, it was because of the weather and inadequate insulation/ventilation in the attic.

Is it true? Should it covered by the 10 years warranty? Should I ask him to come fix it?

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Following is what's on the contract:

Things he did - in the contract
- Remove existing asphalt
- Install 25 year 3-tab shingles
- Install new bathroom plumbing flashings
- Install 4 new roof vents
- Install metal eavastarter/dripedge
- Install all required flashings
- Reflash/reseal chimney stack
- Install Ice/Water shield - valleys sidewalls, bottom 3 ft eaves
- Install steps and counterflashing
- Repair damaged roof sheeting
- Clean eavestroughs, clean up and dispose of all debris
- Provide detailed cleanup of yard with magnet

Things he did NOT do - in the quote
- Install 30 lb felt underlay
- Install insullation
- Install rouch/mopdown modified bitumen
- Install new roof sheeting
- Install vinyl siding
- Install soffit and facia
- Install steel roofing
- Install cedar shakes / shingles
- Install 5" seamless aluminum eavestroughs and all required downpipes.
 
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Old 01-23-09, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by karma samten View Post
So we called the installer, he said there was nothing to do with him, it was because of the weather and inadequate insulation/ventilation in the attic.

Is it true? Should it covered by the 10 years warranty? Should I ask him to come fix it?

.
you can ask him how much it would be to fix it, if he does that kind of work but he did nothing to cause the ice dam. An ice dam is caused by heat under the roof which melts the snow which then runs to the eave. Since the eave is not over heated space, it is cold so the water freezes and makes a dam. As that builds up, it can actually cause standing water above the dam which can get under the shingles and into the attic and walls.

So, as the roofer said, it is caused by inadequate ventilation in the attic space. You have to remove all heat in the attic. All the insulation in the world is not going to prevent this as insulation is not perfect and heat will get into the attic. That heat needs to be vented out before it can heat the roof decking.
 
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Old 01-23-09, 09:46 PM
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Homes with ice dams tend not to have adequate insulation and/or ventilation. The warm, humid air from below escapes into the attic through gaps in and around the attic floor. These gaps need to be sealed around perimeter, vents, pipes, chimneys, etc. No dryer, vent/fan, range hood, or other vents should be vented into the attic space. They need to be vented to the outdoors. Duct work, if any, should be inspected for leaks and sealed and insulated.

There should be a vapor retarder on attic floor beneath insulation. If faced batt insulation was used, the facing is a vapor retarder that needs to face downward toward heated area below. Additional unfaced batts or blown in insulation over top can bring the attic up to the recommended minimum for your area. (Note: That's just the minimum as required by building codes. Your local building code office can tell you what the minimum required R-value is for your area.)

There needs to be adequate ventilation. Most prefer ridge vent and soffit vents. There needs to be an equal amount of ventilation for both intake air and output. Insulation should not block soffit vents.

Air temperature in attic should be the same as outdoors. If warm, humid air enters attic, it can condense, freeze, and there may be icicles. Condensation and melting ice can drip and cause decay, mold/mildew, and wet insulation loses its insulative qualities.

Warm air that enters the attic from below warms the roof and causes the snow to melt and run into gutters where it freezes and forms ice dams. When this happens, water from melting snow on roof has no place to go and can be forced back into the walls of the home through fascia. Water in walls ruins insulation and causes mold/mildew and decay.

Address your attic insulation and ventilation issues ASAP to prevent further problems. Protect the investment in your home.

"Should it covered by the 10 years warranty? Should I ask him to come fix it?" You hired a roofer. He installed a roof. He gave you a 10-year warranty on the roof installation. Read the warranty.

You did not hire him to inspect attic to assess attic insulation and ventilation or lack thereof or make corrective measures. Roofers do not warranty against ice dams.
 
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Old 01-24-09, 06:39 AM
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Thank you both for the answers, that really help me a bit.

Then my question is why the issue happened after the new roof is installed? We didn't have that before......coincidence?
 
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Old 01-24-09, 01:52 PM
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you listed several items in the contract the HE did not do. Did somebody else do them? If so, I see "install insulation" in that list. If somebody installed insulation in the attic and blocked any eave vents that are existing, that could cause the ice dams.
 
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Old 01-26-09, 12:47 AM
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ice dams are prevented by 3 things,proper insulation
proper ventilation,and waterproofing-you need proper insulation,and ventilation to keep the heat off the bottom of the roof where it melts the snow,and creates the Ice
You probably haven`t seen it before because other winters may have been milder,weather tends to follow a 30 year pattern with extreme ranges
If there is something to be concerned with,it may be the amount of ice and water shield provided,code calls for ice + water shield to be installed up to 2 ft. past the bearing wall of the house-If you have more than 6" roof overhang,then 3 ft. was not enough
 

Last edited by the roofing god; 01-26-09 at 12:51 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-27-09, 09:54 AM
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will de-icer product work for the ice dam?

I found some inexpensive product like this - Ice Viper / Solution

Anybody has any experience in this or similar product? Will it damage the roof?
thanks
 
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Old 01-28-09, 12:13 AM
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Try calcium chloride instead
 
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Old 02-05-09, 09:23 AM
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Similar problem here, only different

First off, I don't mean to hijack this thread, although I'm having similar issues with ice dams and water backing up into the house walls.

I'm reading that the issue is one of 3 problems -- waterproofing, venting and insulation. That all makes sense to me, but my question is what to do if you don't have an attic at all?

That is, there is about a 10" to 12" space in between the ceiling and roofing -- all lofted interior spaces with no attic. I can't access that area anywhere without drilling/ripping out the ceiling.

In addition I can't really see if there are any vents (it is a 3.5 story house surrounded by trees, so outside of climbing on the steep roof, I can't see up there), but of course when I have someone come out to deal with the ice dam problem, I'll certainly have them let me know what vents there are.

How are the air problems dealt with in this type of situation? The house is 33 years old, so I'm hoping a change in insulation isn't required...

Thanks a ton in advance for any ideas or information.
 
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Old 02-05-09, 01:33 PM
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SMRT,

You may want to start here;

http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/libr.../MP02-5778.pdf

Good report dealing with cathedral ceilings.
 
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Old 02-05-09, 04:39 PM
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dennism, thanks! I love these forums, so many people vastly smarter than me.

This document is fantastic, and should come in handy when I'm figuring out how to ventilate this roof -- clearly there's not enough right now. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do about the channels (if they're blocked) without ripping up the entire roof. Here's hoping I find a cheaper answer.
 
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Old 02-05-09, 09:35 PM
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ultimately it all boils down to adequate ventilation. Insulation makes it so less ventilation will still provide adequate cooling and the rubber seal is useful if you still have inadequate ventilation and resulting roof melt that can freeze outside of the heated envelope walls.

If you have adequate ventilation, the rubber roofing would not be needed (in an ideal situation) and enough ventilation will overcome even the total lack of insulation (not that that is a good situation either though).

One thing I find is a common problem is;

in an attempt to insulate the attic space as much as possible, especially in low slope roofs, the area directly above the perimeter walls are overstuffed and block the air flow that should be allowed via the eave vents. That negates the effectiveness of any well designed ventilation system.

I suggest the air chutes (styrofoam or carboard pieces installed to the upper chords of the rafters to provide a clear air space against the underside of the roof decking) be extended beyond the perimeter walls to assure this but still be cautious the insulation is not packed against the chutes since they are easily collapsed and closed off if the insulation is pushing against them.
 
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Old 02-18-09, 10:05 AM
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Unhappy cathedral ceiling ice dam

I had a new gas fireplace installed. The space above is open and heated the roof and I now have damming. I have stopped using the fireplace until my installer pulls it out and insulates the space and I have roof-raked all edges of the house and I can only reach about 3 feet back. I have just learned about heated roof systems and will seriously consider this for next year, but I was wondering if I could spread 'de-icer' I use on my walkway to help melt the dam?
 
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