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Thread: ice on house

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  1. #1
    DIY Member Barry J's Avatar
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    Default ice on house

    I recently had my bathroom window taken out, cause it was in the shower, and leaking. Now it's a tub surround and wall. I know I have to go up on my CFM rating on my exhaust fan. But, meanwhile, when we take hot baths or showers we get condensation on the ceiling above the tub. So, much that it drips down.

    And just this week, we have been having alot of snow in Massachusetts and very cold (sub zero) temps. I've noticed that on the outside of my house, right where the bathroom is...there is ice frozen onto my outside wall...like it was running down from the sofits and froze. Also, i noticed it was about 20 degrees out and the icicles on my gutters in that area were still dripping (melting).

    My take on this is that I need more insulation in the area on top of my bathroom and probably other places. I think the heat from the house is going into the attic and melting the ice and causing condensation in the bathroom.

    Any suggestions or ideas

    Thanks

    Barry

  2. #2
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    This really sucks, but it sounds like it wasn't properly air-sealed & insulated when they closed off the window and installed the surround- is the contractor bonded?

    You may be able to spot-insulate in the wall from the outside with dense-packed cellulose, as well as in the ceiling above, but the right approach is important, and may take some on-site analysis. You may need to wait for warmer weather when you can re-open things and let them dry out first, or inject low-rise foam, etc. If you live in central MA (Worcester county, to the western fringes of 128), scoot me private message for a local contractor reference.

    In the meantime, if you haven't already, buy a snow-rake and pull down all the snow at least 2-3 feet above the ice dams on the roof to limit the damage. It won't slow the heat leak, but you won't have saturated structural wood to dry out before fixing it for good. (This is turning out to be one of those epic snow winters like '95/96.)

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    One of my relatives was recently having a similar problem. They found that when the house was re-roofed, the roofers did not hook the bathroom vent back up to the vent terminal through the roof. All the warm and moist air from the bathroom was blowing into the attic, which caused major ice dams on the roof in the vicinity of the bathroom.

    I had some ice damming on our roof in past years, but since adding an R-19 layer of fiberglass insulation in the attic, the problem is gone.

  4. #4
    DIY Member Barry J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    This really sucks, but it sounds like it wasn't properly air-sealed & insulated when they closed off the window and installed the surround- is the contractor bonded?

    You may be able to spot-insulate in the wall from the outside with dense-packed cellulose, as well as in the ceiling above, but the right approach is important, and may take some on-site analysis. You may need to wait for warmer weather when you can re-open things and let them dry out first, or inject low-rise foam, etc. If you live in central MA (Worcester county, to the western fringes of 128), scoot me private message for a local contractor reference.

    In the meantime, if you haven't already, buy a snow-rake and pull down all the snow at least 2-3 feet above the ice dams on the roof to limit the damage. It won't slow the heat leak, but you won't have saturated structural wood to dry out before fixing it for good. (This is turning out to be one of those epic snow winters like '95/96.)
    Are you sure the problem is in the wall insulation...The contractor that did it is a very reputable contractor in Gardner, Ma...and I watched them put the insulation in. Could it be resulting from the attic not being properly insulated, and then when it was melting from the heat, running down the side of the house.????

  5. #5

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    Does it look like this?
    That's not the Grim Reaper, that is my roofer!

    You need insurance, very good insurance, and a very good roofer.
    Last edited by Cookie; 01-28-2011 at 04:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Attic insulation could make a big difference but if the problem was attic insulation alone I would think you would have seen the problem during previous winters.

  7. #7
    DIY Member Barry J's Avatar
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    Yeah, but like I said we took out that window in the shower last year, and had all new siding on the house last year...the roof was done about 3 years ago. and this is the first year I can remember that we had a week long cold spell of sub zero temps.
    My gutters do look like the picture...but I also have water freezing on the side of the house. I'll try to attach a picture later.

  8. #8

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    You need more insulation in the attic. I can swear to it. My house was covered in ice. The front, the back, the sides, even under the front porch on the inside of the walls, where it ran down under it. It pushed out a window on that picture you see, right out of the frame. Unreal. It came to over in total, over 8,000 in damages. I paid 100.00 for the deductible, and a tip for that roofer you see.

    When you ran your hand over my outside bricks walls, you couldn't feel the brick. It was just one solid sheet of ice. The entire wall, all the way up, and all the way down.

    If your gutters are like this, you might need to get a roofer to get it freed, on a somewhat good day. In my area, the roofer was in great demand. I wasn't alone in this mess, many people had the same problem. My roof is only 5 years old.

    This year? I also, had my gutters cleaned right before winter set in. Still, the front gutters, under the dormers, is jammed, but that gutter so far, can take claim to being the only one, thank God.
    Last edited by Cookie; 01-29-2011 at 07:05 AM.

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