2 foot wide soffit freezes up in winter.

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  #1  
Old 08-30-09, 05:07 PM
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2 foot wide soffit freezes up in winter.

Summer's almost over. Last winter I had a huge ice build up on my roof. I have
(unfortunately) about a 2 foot wide soffit that is boxed in with screened vinyl siding on the bottom.
I also have gutters attached.

Is there any other product on the market besides heat tape to apply to the roof over the 2 foot section of the soffit so I don't have this problem again, or should I just install heat tape in the gutters, which is obviously much easier than installing it on the roof?

Any ideas would be much appreciated. thanks.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 06:44 PM
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Roof Ice

You need to install the heat tape on the roof. It will not do any good in the gutters. Good Luck
 
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Old 08-30-09, 07:16 PM
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Hi never, the heat tape would just be treating the symptoms and not the problem. The problem is the heat below the roof. Different style homes, capes, ranch, dormers, all pose different problem areas, but the overall principal is to air seal home from the roof deck, insulate to slow the transfer of heat, and then vent that space to the outside to remove any heat that does creep in.

If you take a look at homes with no ice problems, you will see snow on the roof. In your case, that snow is melting, flowing under the snow to the edge of the roof where it meets the open cold air and freezes. The process can build up huge qunatities of ice. Here is an article on the subject.

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

Bud
 
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Old 08-31-09, 12:05 PM
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Pull the screened vinyl soffit and check for this: BlockTheHeat.com -Attic Ventilation Problems I agree with Bud.
Be safe, G
 
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Old 08-31-09, 01:06 PM
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My home in Minnesota has good soffit and roof ventilation.

Usually the snow melts (at over 0F) in from all edges and gets to the gutters. One problem is that we always have a lot of sun when it is really cold one side (the east). the east side gutters are out of the sun while the sun still hits the roof in the afternoon, so I may have some temporary ice in the gutter until the next day or the next warm spell.

Ventilation is the key. You should keep the air under the roof as close to the outside air temperature as possible.

Dick
 
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Old 08-31-09, 01:34 PM
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Oh no. I gotta open up the vents and make sure they are open all the way to the top or the roof line?
This is a 2nd story house. I'm not sure what I'll find inside there besides bees, wasps, bats, etc...
 
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Old 09-07-09, 03:42 PM
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Hi NET!
If you do choose to install the "heat tape", better known as Self Regulating Heating Cable", be sure you run it up the roof at least 1' beyond the cold wall AND in the gutters and downspouts. You could cheap it out and just do the gutters and DS but with that 2' overhang, you're not going to solve the problem.

We always install double runs for all our installations. A single run in the gutter will just create a quarter sized hole that will bridge over the top. Also, if at all possible, try to install it with no splices. It more work but will elimnate the "weak link".

Good luck this winter!
Russell
 
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Old 09-07-09, 03:53 PM
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Russell. Thanks for the post. I'm not really very interested in opening up all the underneath of the soffit to see if the ridge vents are open.
The house has been remodeled twice. Once in 2000, and I put an addition on in 2004. The soffit for the new addition is much smaller than the original section and it also has gutters, but still has the same exact problem which is ice build up. I'm pretty sure the ridge vent extends all through it.

Where can I get the correct heat tape for this type of application if I want to go this route. Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-07-09, 05:08 PM
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You can just search the web for Self Regulating Cable. We're not allowed to post more information than that.

Self Regulating Cable will warm up to different temperatures when it is in contact with snow or ice. That makes it much more energy efficient than cable that is the same temp all the time.

You can even take it a step further and include a temp/moisture sensor so that the system is only on when it snows and even one more step, add on a manual activation switch. All of these features will save lots of energy over a system that you have to plug in and leave on waiting for snow.
 
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Old 09-08-09, 06:50 PM
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That's great info. Never knew it was on the market. I'll look it up, thanks
 
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