How-to solve ice dam problems on your roof

How-to solve ice dam problems on your roof

Some simple things to look for when you know what you are looking for. At Goldeye Home Inspection we are here to help so please contact us with any questions you may have. We service Guelph and the surrounding area.

 

00:00 
Hi again Steve from GoldEye Home Inspection here and I am continuing the discussion 
00:10 
that I started in previous video on ice dams. So we talked about the causes of 
00:15 
ice dams. Basically warm air on the upper part of the roof that's heating the roof up and 
00:23 
melting the snow. The water starts flowing down and it hits the cool area down 
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below and refreezes. This builds up over time and forms this ice dam that can damage 
00:34 
your roof, drip down into your attic and damage your insulation and the 
00:40 
roofing structure and all the way down into the house and cause damage to the house. 
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So the message for that was keep the Attic cool and you can reduce the chance of an 
00:52 
ice dam forming. So how do we keep the Attic cool. So this is what we're going 
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to talk about today. Basically there's three parts to this that you 
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need to do. First is stop warm air from leaking up into the attic from the house. 
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There's a number of places where you can have penetrations through the roof or 
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even through the walls where the wall itself has a pipe or something going up 
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in inside of it up into the roof and air can flow up through the wall. But look 
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for things like your your exhaust fans from bathrooms and kitchens. I can't 
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count the number of times I've been in the Attic and I've seen the ducting from 
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an exhaust fan that is supposed to go either up through the roof and exhaust 
01:46 
out or off to the side. Instead it's disconnected and all that warm moist air 
01:53 
from the bathroom or kitchen is blowing into the Attic and so that warms up the 
01:57 
attic and of course the snow starts melting. Another thing you can do if all 
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the penetrations of sealed properly is insulate. Warmth 
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from the house is just going to naturally rise and warm up the Attic. So 
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the better your insulation is the less chance the heat will go up into the 
02:19 
attic and start the snow melting on the roof. Following up from that the third 
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item is ventilation. In this area underneath the overhang is called the 
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soffits there are there are or can be or should be vents that allow cool air up 
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into the attic and then you'll have roof vents higher up on the attic. It 
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allows air to flow up through and flush out all that warm moist air that has built 
02:52 
up or you know from this at the Sun heating the roof, keeping the the 
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attic and the underside of the of the roof cool. Now I'll just mention something. If 
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you put in insulation often what happens if those soffit vents at the edge get 
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blocked, the air flow up into the attic can't happen. So good installers of 
03:18 
insulation will put baffles that will prevent the insulation from going right 
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to the edge it doesn't need to because that channel can be can be left cool so 
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you don't need insulation there. That just allows a path for the air to flow 
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up into the Attic and flush out the attic. So let's say you've got an ice dam 
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now you're not going to change the ventilation or the insulation or do all 
03:48 
that air sealing in the middle of winter. So what do you do? How do you fix it 
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right now? Well the easiest thing you can do is 
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remove the snow. I mean it's not an easy thing but there are people who will for 
04:05 
a price obviously come to your house and clear the snow off or you can do it 
04:10 
yourself. Be careful with that because you've got shingles there that in the 
04:18 
cool weather a little brittle. You can damage them and that'll shorten 
04:21 
the length of the lifespan of your of your roofing. So you want to avoid if 
04:27 
possible doing any damage there. Now the ice itself... I would strongly..Please don't 
04:35 
do this. When I was about 14 years old or so my father had me up on the roof of 
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our two-story house with one foot in the gutter and hanging on to the edge of the 
04:47 
gable end of the house chopping away at the ice with an axe. I would not let 
04:52 
anyone do that. There was deep snow below but I still didn't like my chances if I 
04:58 
fallen. So be very careful with that and also be very careful if you're swinging 
05:04 
an axe at ice there's also a good chance you'll damage the roof. So be very careful 
05:10 
with that. Some companies will use steam and just melt the snow and the ice that 
05:16 
way.So you can hire someone to do that or if you have a steam device... again 
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just be very careful with it. Finally there's a method that I've seen a number 
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of places where you can put a salt, calcium chloride.. or yeah, calcium 
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chloride in pantyhose and you lay it down and it will melt the ice. You 
05:39 
actually lay it down vertically so that it creates a channel through the ice 
05:45 
that will allow the water to flow down and and drip off the edge 
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or get into the gutters. Hopefully they're clean enough as I mentioned in 
05:55 
the last video, ... I believe, I hope I mentioned it. Keep your Eavestroughs clean 
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in fall so that that water can flow away. You've got to have a path for that 
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water to flow away. So if you create this channel with one of these pantyhose 
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it'll go down into the eaves trough down your downspout and away. Finally you 
06:19 
know, a couple of these things I've mentioned... 
06:21 
hire a Pro if you're not comfortable going up on a roof. There's 
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not a lot you're gonna do yourself from down below so hire somebody to do it. Be 
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safe, do it properly, hopefully they'll be 
06:33 
professional and not damage your roof. So this has been our discussion on ice dams. 
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If you have any questions please contact me I'm always open to answer questions 
06:45 
if you need more research on something I'd love to do that. If you have any 
06:49 
comments on this video or any of the other other videos that we'll be 
06:53 
producing, or have produced, please, by all means drop it in the comments send us an 
07:00 
email or contact us on our contact form at goldeyehi.ca that's g o l d e y e h i . c a 
07:08 
on the Internet. Steve from GoldEye Home Inspection and 
07:13 
this is our discussion on ice dams. 

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