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  1. #1
    Magda Braccia's Avatar
    Magda Braccia Guest

    Default ice and water in attic

    Hello,
    I have a problem with my attic, there is frost in my attic, ice on the roofing nails and it's all wet. The insulation has brown spots from dripping water from the nails. Please take a look at the photo.
    The inspector we hired 2 years ago didn't examined the roof because he said there was snow on the roof, also he did not found anything wrong in the attic, said something about ventilation but did not explained much. Now year later we have ice in the attic and the roof plywood is wet.
    From what I understand it's caused by condensation or ice dams and we need to do something about ventilation to prevent condensation. Is that right ?

    Please advise what would be the best thing to do now.
    When it melts in a few days it may damage ceiling or walls, so would it be a good idea to try to dry it out with a hair dryer ? to try to vaporize it quickly ? or is it a bad idea ?
    Do we need to replace the roof ? or if the plywood dries out it will be ok ?

    Please advise.
    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Forget about calling the inspector, you need a roofer. Sounds like you may have a underlayment problem.

    If your inspector mentioned ventilation, that should have been addressed prior to you purchasing the home.

    A hairdryer is not going to help the problem.

    Good Luck.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    The best thing to do now, as in 'as soon as possible' is to remove the snow from the roof, which should prevent most of the damage which will follow melting of the snow.

    Now for the tougher question: Who should you get to remove that snow? I don't know, but roofers are likely slow in the winter, are used to working on roofs, carry the correct insurance for workers on the roof, so I would start looking there.

    Then, as Rick said, a roofer needs to check for the things which are not visible, such as not visible to the inspector, even without snow on the roof. Things such as Water & Ice Shield and similar products.

    Then, yes, ventilation also needs to be addressed.

    Hopefully someone here from up in your area can give additional information.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  4. #4
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Read your report and see what it says in the attic section about ventilation. You more than likely have a ventilation problem, not a roof problem if all areas of the attic are wet.

    Are you burning any ventless gas heaters?

    Where do your bathroom vents terminate?


  5. #5

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I agree with Jeff, but seeing as how you never had the roof inspected-- have the roofer inspect the roof while repairing the ventilation issues. If the attic is not properly ventilated, you have to wonder what else was done poorly on the roof.


  6. #6
    richg1's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Maga, your problem has nothing to do with your roof. YOu have serious issues with air leaks into your attic which have to be sealed. Some people will suggest attic ventilation (soffit and ridge vents or a powered roof fan). That is a waste of time and money and is akin to pouring water through a spaghetti strainer. A few options here: 1. Purchase a gun foam kit (gun, cans of foam and a few cans of cleaner). Put on protective gear and look for any and all penetrations from the living space into the attc; they are found around pipes, electrical fixtures and top plates, and usually the pink insualtoin will be turned black by dust-laden air moving through the fiberglass. (the attached pic is a massive air leak coming from a top plate. this is my own house). Seal the penetrations and replace the insualtion. If you have the $$$, remove all of the fiberglass, seal the leaks and then blow in 18 inches of cellulose. I had the EXACT same problem as you, and I removed the fiberglass, sealed the leaks and blew in cellulose. The attic moisture problem is gone and my utility bills have been cut in half.

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  7. #7
    Tom Sherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I agree with Richg1. This is an air sealing issue, not a ventilation issue. Air sealing the attic floor (as well as possibly adding insulation) prevents warm moist air from entering the attic, where it hits the dew point and condenses on the underside of the decking. This is also the reason we have ice damming. Rusty nails, frost on the nails and the brown drips on the insulation are all signs of this issue. My recommendation would be to get a Building Performance contractor in there to air seal the attic floor. Also, while fiberglass is approved, it is certainly not the best choice for insulating the attic floor. Blown in cellulose would do a much better job.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Hi Madga,

    This problem is common in colder climates. It is a combination of moisture migrating to the attic from within the home and a ventilation problem.

    Moisture is generated within the home from cooking, bathing, people, plants, pets, humidifiers, laundry, vent free gas appliances and other sources. This moisture migrates from the living space through the building materials, (includes plaster ceilings, wood, painted surfaces), by bath fans that may vent within the attic, improperly vented dryers, through light fixtures in the ceiling, cracks around electrical boxes, etc.

    The moisture migrates into the attic because the air is dryer in the attic (lower vapor pressure) or fans that vent into the attic. When moist air comes in contact with the cooler surfaces of the roof deck (especially the North side of the roof) condensation will occur. Much like moist summer air condensing on cool water pipes in the basement or crawlspace. I see this all the time.

    If condensation has been occurring for a long time, mold and mildew can form on the surface of the roof decking, will decay the roof decking (especially particle board), and may become a problem to occupants, especially if they have a sensitivity to mold or mildew.

    Here are my suggestions for remediation.

    Reduce moisture generation and migration into the attic by:

    1. Use a bath fan that discharges directly to the outside when showering or bathing.
    2. Using a range hood that vents outside when cooking.
    3. Do not use a humidifier, unless absolutely necessary. It should be set at no greater than 25% RH and low enough so no condensation occurs on any windows.
    4. Ensure that your dryer is vented outside.
    5. Do nor use gas fireplaces or stoves that do not vent outside.

    Contact a licensed electrician if you need these installed, or for further assistance if you are unable to determine where these fans discharge.

    6. Reduce vapor migration through the ceiling by providing a vapor barrier. This is typically achieved with a "faced" batt type insulation installed in-between the ceiling joists of the attic. The "faced" vapor barrier should be installed so it is faced down closest to the living space space.

    Contact a licensed insulation contractor to review the condition of the insulation and vapor barrier in your attic and for repairs.

    7. Have a licensed professional examine the natural ventilation in your attic. Ventilation prevents the build up of moisture within the attic and condensation on building materials. There are specific requirements for ventilation that are particular to various, building components, roof designs and ceiling areas.

    You should contact a licensed roofer for assistance with this.

    8. If mold and mildew is visible or if you or others develop respiratory problems or allergy symptoms you should contact a licensed hygienists or environmental specialist for further evaluation and remediation recommendations.

    Good Luck!


  9. #9
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Kraft-faced fiberglass may be a vapor RETARDER if installed properly; is is never a vapor BARRIER. The difference between a barrier and a retarder is defined by the perm rating of a given material. Here's an article by Joe Lstiburek about vapor barriers: BSD-106: Understanding Vapor Barriers —

    The person with this question does not sound well suited to crawl around in the attic with a foam gun trying to air seal. That's work for a trained and properly equipped professional.

    There are many good recommendations here, but they need to be consolidated to summarize the issues.

    Your home requires a complete "envelope." That means that you need to be surrounded by three barriers: one to stop heat loss, one to stop moisture transmission, and one to stop the movement of air that carries heat and moisture with it.

    The best and most conclusive way to determine the extent of penetrations through the boundary between your conditioned house and your unconditioned attic is to use a blower door. Visit www.bpi.org to find a Building Performance Institute certified and accredited contractor in your area. If by some chance they don't want to do this job using a blower door, get someone else.

    Any other approach to this problem is like shooting baskets while wearing a blindfold.

    Adding ventilation without air sealing may make matters worse by increasing the pressure difference between the house and the attic (air always moves from high pressure to low pressure). Adding more insulation without air sealing will lower the temperature of the roof deck without significantly slowing the movement of moist air into the attic, and that will definitely make matters worse by increasing condensation.

    The odds that a roofer will be trained in this building science are not good.

    Once the envelope problem is solved it will be time to assess the nature and extent of any permanent damage to the roof itself.


  10. #10
    Christopher Gorton's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    If you look closely there appears to be a hole in the osb on the lower left side of the picture. Is there a roof overlapping this section? Is there perhaps a valley on top of this roof? It appears there is a gable end on the right and that is the exterior wall.
    Do you have a photo of the outside?
    I agree with the warm air from below in the heated space escaping to the source of the problem. Check all penetrations into the attic space, consider installing a ridge vent.


  11. #11
    Don Belmont's Avatar
    Don Belmont Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Just to join the chorus.

    Your issue appears to be warmer, moister air coming into contact with colder surfaces (your roof).

    The typical solution to this is to try and seal this conditioned air away from the roof or to dilute the moist, warmer air with outside air (ventilation).

    Left uncorrected you're looking at real potential for mold, rot and eventual structural damage so getting this dealt with expeditiously is a very good idea.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Being that I live in your area I can attest to the fact it is an issue related to the insulation/ventilation. We have had one of our coldest winters in decades. This appears to be condensation due to heat and moisture escaping from the conditioned space and nothing to do with a roof leak. So don't waste your time trying to pull snow off the roof. Based on your photo it appears to be located on a gable wall area and not at the lower end of the roof where ice damming occurs. As the moisture is drawn into the attic, it condenses on the coldest spots, ie: the nails first and then the sheathing. This will eventually create mold and fungal growth which will eat the OSB (Purina mold chow). You first have to deal with the sources of the moisture, increase ventilation, install a more adequate insulation (fiberglass is next to worthless in our area) and than deal with the damage to the sheathing.

    I feel your inspector did a poor job explaining the ramifications of the bad ventilation issues. The attic needs to have proper air flow from low to high, all fans vented through the roof and interior temperatures within a few degrees of the exterior temps.

    Please call a qualified inspector who is well credentialed, not some newby who is only in this for the money, and have them consult with you on the proper course of action.


    Steve Duchene, the HOME EXAMINER


  13. #13
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by richg1 View Post
    I removed the fiberglass, sealed the leaks and blew in cellulose. The attic moisture problem is gone and my utility bills have been cut in half.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sherman View Post
    I agree with Richg1. This is an air sealing issue, not a ventilation issue.

    Also, while fiberglass is approved, it is certainly not the best choice for insulating the attic floor. Blown in cellulose would do a much better job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Voytovich View Post
    Kraft-faced fiberglass may be a vapor RETARDER if installed properly; is is never a vapor BARRIER.
    The reason blown-in cellulose works much better for this than blown-in fiberglass is that the blown-in cellulose is much denser and offers considerably greater resistance to air flow through the insulation than blown-in fiberglass insulation offers.

    It has been documented that in colder climates the thickness of blown-in fiberglass insulation installed on horizontal surfaces (such as an attic floor) may need to be 100% thicker to achieve the stated R-value because blown-in fiberglass can loose up to 50% of its R-value due to the condition where the colder air settles down through the insulation, reducing its 'effective thickness' and its R-value.

    The facing on the batt fiberglass insulation is a vapor retarder not a vapor barrier, as stated above by Ed, however, you *do not want* a vapor "barrier" as the moisture generated within the home must be given a way out.

    Using a vapor retarder to allow vapor transmission through the facing is not the same as all those holes around pipes, wires, etc., the other posters are referring to.

    Not only will sealing those holes and openings help your condition, but sealing those holes and openings is also required as a part of construction as those openings allow for the passage of smoke, setting up a draft condition and allowing for the easier passage of fire when there is a fire.

    For attic floor installation of fiberglass insulation:
    - see top of page 3: http://kohlerandlewis.com/pdf/reside...ldinginsul.pdf

    - scroll down to bottom of page 3 and to page 4: Daniel Lea, for Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association (CIMA)

    - air sealing at transitions, etc.:
    - - Building Science Consulting - Designs That Work - Very Cold Climate - Aspen Profile
    - - Designs that Work: Cold Climate - Minneapolis Profile —

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    As previously mentioned, this appears to be a gable end wall in the photo and I would agree. But look at how the moisture has migrated all the way up the roof towards the ridge, even if there was ice and water shield installed 3 -6 ft up along the eves there is water penetrating further up the roof. This condition does appear to be a ventillation issue as previously suggested. I don't see any air baffles between the roof trusses (in fact I don't see any ventillation in the photo) suggesting no soffit vents (or they are plugged). There may be a ridge vent (not shown in photo) that has not been installed properly (I've seen many of these where either the roof sheathing has been cut back only an inch or so or not at all). It's also possilble that there are too few pot vents on the roof. In addition, there may be insufficient insulation in the attic (12 - 15 in. recommended for your area). We are experencing a pretty brutal winter up here this year and I have seen alot of ice damming and large icecyles.

    RJDalga
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Dalga View Post
    But look at how the moisture has migrated all the way up the roof towards the ridge,

    Robert,

    That angle looks to me as though it is a valley from the roof which the opening down below is going into.

    With that being the case (I think it is), then the wetness you are seeing is between the valley (at that angle) and the gable end with the most staining being along the gable end.

    The sheathing which is most stained (between the valley and the gable end) will be the coldest, with the coldest part being along the gable end. The sheathing to the left of the valley is 'insulated' from the extreme cold by the other roof area, so it may not be cold enough to form the condensation which is causing the moisture staining.

    I must admit to not knowing as much about that cold as today there is another cold front coming through, it's 52 outside and supposed to be down to around 35 tonight (which is certainly better than the 28 last week from that cold front), but, hey, it was in the 70s most of this week during the day here.

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  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Rock wool, cellulose, no matter what climate I find either of these insulating materials much better. Batt fiberglass laid in the bays with more batt fiberglass rolled out in the other direction o top of the first layer, in my opinion, is far superior than blown in insulation. In wonderful Texas, Florida, and Mass I always stressed the tremendous benefits of proper insulation and ventilation. Even with a written report about insulation and ventilation no matter how well written a client does not hear nearly as well as a strong verbal explanation of the situation This may well be the case with this mans attic situation. The verbal beating of the information never got done.

    Being an animated speaker when explaning my findings to a client I have absolutely no doubt that they are getting my point of with is taking place in their new home.

    To think that the written report is so wonderful and so literate and so professional and so complete that it is the end all in reporting is nuts. I may not have my clients with me at the entire inspection and there is a good reason for it. I want to do my job and do it well with out interuption. When my clients show up I can do my song and dance. Fingers pointing. Eyebrows lifting. Stupid jokes making a point. Hands flailing, hands waving to walk this way, doing the Vana White thing presenting my findings.

    To the OP. Your inspector did tell you of ventilation. If in fact YOU did not understand his meaning it was up to YOU to ask questions to clarify. Now YOU are paying. He did do his job and sounds like it was complete. YOU did not follow up. Sorry. Just the way I am hearing it.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    When my clients show up I can do my song and dance. Fingers pointing. Eyebrows lifting. Stupid jokes making a point. Hands flailing, hands waving to walk this way, doing the Vana White thing presenting my findings.

    Ted,

    Ever accidentally whack your client in the face with your hand waving?

    I did.

    He was on the left side of me, I was explaining something, so he moved around to the right side of me without me noticing ... WHAP!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    The roof and attic ventilation may be legitimate issues. With what you are describing, I doubt it, probably only minor factors.
    Most likely major factors
    - bath fan vents into attic
    - kitchen vents into attic
    - heating ductwork in attic not insulated or boots sealed at drywall
    - poor sealing around eaves/soffits, etc. letting snow blow in
    - poor circulation from eave to roof vents
    Moisture is being introduced into the space, figure out where it's coming from and the rest is relatively easy.

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  19. #19
    Ken Bates's Avatar
    Ken Bates Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    From the photo, it appears that any existing vents in the eaves area ( most likely soffit vents ) are blocked. I do not see any of the styrofoam spacers that are usually installed.

    Pulling back the insulation a few inches at the eaves may allow sufficient cold air with low RH to flow up to the ridge vent. This should compete with the air coming from the conditioned spaces unless there are ceiling lights and significant pentrations in the upper level ceilings and chases.

    Poor eaves ventilation gives priority to the warm moisture laden air from the living spaces which rises up to the peak and cools and approaches the dew point as is cascades down toward the eaves.

    Most of the woven fiber mat, ridge vents perform poorly. ( products like Cobra vents )

    The best scenario is with old fashioned baffle vents (such as sold by Certainteed). They work very well as they have no filter fabric to impede flow and they work especially well when the ridge is perpendicular to the prevailing winds. Then you get the Bernoulli effect which can pull up a lot of attic air. So, what you want is a strong draw by a ridge vent that is fed by eaves (preferably large soffit vents) venting. It can outcompete humid conditioned air or at least dilute it sufficiently to stay above the dew point.


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ted,

    Ever accidentally whack your client in the face with your hand waving?

    I did.

    He was on the left side of me, I was explaining something, so he moved around to the right side of me without me noticing ... WHAP!
    Yesterday I was inspecting the windows in the living room and pulled the mini blinds and got whacked in the head. I put them back up and thought I hooked the little metal tab in tight.

    I whipped up the blinds with the Realtor and buyer in front of them and pulled it down on them.

    Just wanted to show them a crack in the window and a swollen window sill


  21. #21
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Magda,

    With everything already said regarding proper sealing, ventilation and insulation, you still need to do as Jerry Peck said in his first post.

    The roof was not reviewed by your original Inspector, and needs to be fully reviewed by a licensed, competant, Roofing Contractor. There may very well still be concerns with moisture entering the attic area from improperly installed roofing systems (moisture barrier, flashing, roofing material, etc.). Don't neglect it!

    Mitch Toelle


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Magda

    Well here is the news. Ventilation, insulation, sealing the home off from the attic area, venting bathroom and laundry vents to the exterior, some new plywood on the roof along with ice shield and any other water proofing methods, flashing and new shingles should about do it. Good thing is if you have them done all at once you will save yourself some money. Proper ventilation and insulation will pay you back some of that money in the long run.

    Sorry. Don't see any innexpensive way out of this. Do what you can for the winter and in the spring have at it. A nice spring time project. If you do it all youself I suggest you get some solid opinions and methods in place before you do so. A job done bad or incomplete will cost you more in the long run.


  23. #23

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    There's always a temporary approach of installing a massive dehumidifier: Commercial Dehumidifiers and Dehumidification Equipment for Large Home, Building, or Swimming Pool Dehumidifier


  24. #24
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I know I will get shot for even thinking of this (because we find similar things in attics and that always leads to writing up 'roof leaks and 'repair') but ...

    A quick, simple, economical, and relatively easy solution to your greatest immediate worry ("When it melts in a few days it may damage ceiling or walls") may be to staple some plastic sheeting up to the trusses to catch and collect any melting ice/water and drain the plastic sheeting to a soffit vent so that it does not collect in the soffit.

    The above is ONLY TO allow you to NOT WORRY about damage to the inside of your home.

    THEN you can start addressing all the other things brought up, without worrying about damage to the inside of your home. During the progress of the above work suggestions, the plastic sheeting will be removed (DO NOT leave it in place).

    Now, regardless of the cause, no worry about damage to the inside ceiling, walls, etc., of your home.

    As others have suggested above, ... when spring comes ... that is when you start addressing all the other issues.

    One last thing, though ... PLEASE DO NOT leave that plastic sheeting up there ... it is only to provide temporary relief from worry about interior damage until you can get the work done - I'll be in enough trouble here just suggesting it to you (but it is less risky than trying to get on the roof to remove the snow right now, yet it will accomplish the same goal - reducing or eliminating water damage to the inside of the home).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    You back peddler you


  26. #26
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Home Rite Home Inspector, York, Pa - Real Estate Inspection in PA and Maryland

    Magda,

    Regardless of all the shots in the dark about why you have water/moisture in your attic, the answer is simple. Call a professional roofer with good references.

    The simple fact is that water accumulation of any sort does not belong in the attic. If your roofer says he can not locate a defect with the roof then you will have to explore other avenues.

    All the opinions and helpful information that you will find from the inspectors in this thread are valuable; however, get a roofer up there and get him now. No one can say with certainty from a brief description and a limited photo as to what exactly is the cause, but some will try and possibly lead you incorrectly. I'm sure if the inspectors on this site are confident with there web diagnosis and methods of correction of your particular issue they will offer up there credentials and insurance providers for your records. You can always ask for other suggestions from them for possible explanations of moisture accumulation after you meet with your roofer and he can not locate a leak or failure in the roofing components.

    Call a roofer now, do not delay.


  27. #27
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
    Ed Voytovich Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Thacker View Post
    Home Rite Home Inspector, York, Pa - Real Estate Inspection in PA and Maryland

    Magda,

    Regardless of all the shots in the dark about why you have water/moisture in your attic, the answer is simple. Call a professional roofer with good references.

    The simple fact is that water accumulation of any sort does not belong in the attic. If your roofer says he can not locate a defect with the roof then you will have to explore other avenues.

    All the opinions and helpful information that you will find from the inspectors in this thread are valuable; however, get a roofer up there and get him now. No one can say with certainty from a brief description and a limited photo as to what exactly is the cause, but some will try and possibly lead you incorrectly. I'm sure if the inspectors on this site are confident with there web diagnosis and methods of correction of your particular issue they will offer up there credentials and insurance providers for your records. You can always ask for other suggestions from them for possible explanations of moisture accumulation after you meet with your roofer and he can not locate a leak or failure in the roofing components.

    Call a roofer now, do not delay.
    With all due respect, I believe Richard is not correct.

    If there is moisture on more than a limited area on the underside of your sheathing, and if there is rust and moisture on roofing nails in more than a localized area of your sheathing, you need somebody trained in building performance. This person could be a roofer, but such contractors are rare. Please refer to my earlier post.

    Last edited by Ed Voytovich; 01-30-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: thought of more specific phrasing

  28. #28
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Ed, If you feel so strongly about the solution I suggest you deliver a written proposal with a guarantee...don't forget to include your E&O provider.

    Some of you guys are horrible at sales and don't have a clue as to what a person or customer wants. You have a real person with a real concern and your throwing theory not a solution. Magda was asking for what to do about the water. He wanted help not "how abouts". He wants the water to go away now, regardless of what you think it might be.

    I challenge any of you to contact Magda with the offer of a written, signed and guaranteed solution. Every once in a while you have to put ego aside and simply say " You need a professional"...

    Any takers?

    Ed?


  29. #29
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Thacker View Post
    Ed, If you feel so strongly about the solution I suggest you deliver a written proposal with a guarantee...don't forget to include your E&O provider.

    Some of you guys are horrible at sales and don't have a clue as to what a person or customer wants. You have a real person with a real concern and your throwing theory not a solution. Magda was asking for what to do about the water. He wanted help not "how abouts". He wants the water to go away now, regardless of what you think it might be.

    I challenge any of you to contact Magda with the offer of a written, signed and guaranteed solution. Every once in a while you have to put ego aside and simply say " You need a professional"...

    Any takers?

    Ed?
    I have sold about $2 million in building performance improvements in my market of Syracuse (not, of course as an inspector). I'm Certified by the Building Performance Institute and as a Home Energy Rater be RESNET. I am the Executive Director of the Building Performance Contractors of NY State. I am a professional. If Magda is in my geographical area and I can write and verify the workscope for her job, I'll guarantee the job.

    Your credentials?


  30. #30
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
    Ed Voytovich Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Thacker View Post
    Ed, If you feel so strongly about the solution I suggest you deliver a written proposal with a guarantee...don't forget to include your E&O provider.

    Some of you guys are horrible at sales and don't have a clue as to what a person or customer wants. You have a real person with a real concern and your throwing theory not a solution. Magda was asking for what to do about the water. He wanted help not "how abouts". He wants the water to go away now, regardless of what you think it might be.

    I challenge any of you to contact Magda with the offer of a written, signed and guaranteed solution. Every once in a while you have to put ego aside and simply say " You need a professional"...

    Any takers?

    Ed?
    I have sold about $2 million in building performance improvements in my market of Syracuse (not, of course as an inspector).

    I'm Certified by the Building Performance Institute and as a Home Energy Rater by RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network Network.

    I am the Executive Director of the Building Performance Contractors of NY State. I am a professional. If Magda is in my geographical area and I can write and verify the workscope for her job, I'll guarantee the job.

    Your credentials?


  31. #31
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    You still didn't offer him a written repair proposal with a satisfaction guarantee did you? What are you waiting for?

    You don't get it ...

    Tell me this...What condition are his shingles in? Where exactly is the leak in respect to the structure? Is it in a valley? Is at a party wall? Is at a flashed area? Just what color is his front door? What can you honestly know about his home or his concern?

    The difference in this case, and correct me if am wrong, is I care about people and not my credentials. I hope I am always able to recognized and acknowledge my own limitations. I am also not arrogant enough to say I can diagnose a problem from 2 paragraphs, a situation I have little knowledge of and a picture and provide a rock solid guaranteed remedy.

    Discussing theoretical scenarios if fine amongst colleagues, but when it comes to a customer you check that at the door and provide them with what they need. A clear undiluted answer that will not only make them feel you understand their concern but are also willing to provide them with a solution to the concern. In Magda's case he has a moisture issue or a leak and wants it to stop. Magda probably has had his head filled with enough theories and that's what possibly lead him here. The only person who provided a clear professional answer was Rick Hurst in the first response. Now he's a professional! The thread should have ended there.

    But as I see often there are those who feel they have a better way to kill a dead horse.

    Answer me this...Would you inspect a home from your desk while the customer walks around and describes what he sees over the phone while sending a few pictures and feel confident you gave them your best quality work?

    By the way I have sold to past customers over 15 million dollars in services and when I gave, yes gave, my half of the company to my partner and best friend of 20 years I left him with $165,000 in receivables, $0 debt and 1.5 million is signed Federal, state and local contracts, 17 paid for work vehicles and an an ocean front condo in Maryland before I became a home inspector and I was only a painter.


  32. #32
    Tom Sherman's Avatar
    Tom Sherman Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I'm still trying to figure out what a roofer is going to do about this. Based on the description, this is clearly not a "leak". Richard, are you suggesting that every one of the little brown stains caused by dripping from the nails onto the fiberglass insulation are separate leaks? All egos aside, this is not a bunch of hokeys throwing darts at the problem...it's building science, and yes, unfortunately, it will cost a few buck to rectify the problem. (Or, they can wait it out until all the roof decking is mold-infested)


  33. #33
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
    Ed Voytovich Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I suppose you're right. I don't get it.

    If, for example, someone's under the wheel of a tractor trailer: because I'm just a forensic pathologist, I couldn't figure out that they have most likely been run over by a tractor trailer.

    It's what you know, not what your E&O covers.

    Please.


  34. #34
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Was he dead before he was hit?


  35. #35
    Ed Voytovich's Avatar
    Ed Voytovich Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Thacker View Post
    Was he dead before he was hit?
    Well, let's just say he crossed at the wrong time.

    Last edited by Ed Voytovich; 01-31-2009 at 07:31 AM. Reason: mangled syntax :-(

  36. #36
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post


    I know I will get shot for even thinking of this
    .
    .....
    .
    Make It So.
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
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    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  37. #37
    JORY LANNES's Avatar
    JORY LANNES Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    THE ANSWER IS IN STEVE DUCHANE'S REPLY.

    REREAD STEVE'S ANSWER..IT IS CASE ON POINT

    Jory Lannes
    Lannes Group Inspections
    Evanston, Illinois


  38. #38
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Some observations:

    There appears to be mold on the decking (lower right of photo) suggesting that moisture has been an issue for some time

    Same can be said about the discoloration at the decking joints

    Gable end appears to have frost along the edge (suggests lack of ventilation at gable end)

    No visible sign of truss vents coming from soffitt allowing air to get to a ridge vent (not sure if intersecting gable extends to the affected area)


  39. #39
    Magda Braccia's Avatar
    Magda Braccia Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Thank you all for your response and advice.
    Yes there are air leaks into the attic, around electrical fixtures and 2 large ones around bathroom vents. The inspector we hired didn't tell us anything about it.
    We will be sealing the air leaks today and installing styrofoam roof vent baffles, I think that's all we can do ourselves. Then we will hire a professional to check and install new insulation.

    I have three last questions:
    1. We plan to sell the house this year, we are worried what will happen when a potential buyer hires an inspector and finds the rusty nails, moist plywood and what happened there. Is it a serious problem that will have a big impact on the selling price of the house ?

    2. If sealing the air leaks and new insulation solves the problem with condensation, will we have to replace the moist plywood ? or if there is no more condensation will it dry out and replacement won't be necessary ?

    3. Is it a good idea to use radiant barrier spray paint to paint the plywood or use attic foil like the one they're selling at atticfoil.com ?

    Thanks again.


  40. #40
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Magda Braccia View Post
    Thank you all for your response and advice.
    Yes there are air leaks into the attic, around electrical fixtures and 2 large ones around bathroom vents. The inspector we hired didn't tell us anything about it.
    We will be sealing the air leaks today and installing styrofoam roof vent baffles, I think that's all we can do ourselves. Then we will hire a professional to check and install new insulation.

    I have three last questions:
    1. We plan to sell the house this year, we are worried what will happen when a potential buyer hires an inspector and finds the rusty nails, moist plywood and what happened there. Is it a serious problem that will have a big impact on the selling price of the house ?

    2. If sealing the air leaks and new insulation solves the problem with condensation, will we have to replace the moist plywood ? or if there is no more condensation will it dry out and replacement won't be necessary ?

    3. Is it a good idea to use radiant barrier spray paint to paint the plywood or use attic foil like the one they're selling at atticfoil.com ?

    Thanks again.


    Magda

    Read my post above. Unlike some I can almost 100 % guarantee you that all the things I mentioned, you need.

    As far as the last inspector. Other than ne ventilation, maybe nothing more showed up that was that obvious. If you had leaks in side the home not only he but you also would have seen them at the time of the inspection. No inspector is going to brush insulation out of the way to inspect the top of the drywall or plaster board.

    You need a good contractor. Someone that you can call several of his clients and verify his worth.

    As far as this statement.

    "I'm Certified by the Building Performance Institute and as a Home Energy Rater by RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network Network."

    Not picking on the man or anyone with those credentials but, So what.

    Any good contractor can tell you just as much if not more. Someone who has been taking care of this sort of thing all his life. Tried and true. You can not replace that with a classroomed accrediting.

    You need the attic sealed off better from the living space. You need non vented, if any, gas appliances vented to the exterior. I can guarantee you that you need more insulation. I can guarantee you that you need ventilation. If the bath vents are not vented to the exterior they need to be. The exterior does not mean the attic. I can guarantee you that you need roof shingle and water proofing work. I can guarantee you that you need some roof sheathing work.

    Some folks don't like to hear the truth but that is it. Am I from where you live, no. I lived in Mass for 36 years, Florida for 14 and Texas for 4 1/2 I have built and remodeled all my life along with inspecting.

    You need to get referrals to a good contractor that has handled many of these situations throughout his carrier


  41. #41
    JORY LANNES's Avatar
    JORY LANNES Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    There are many good,reputable contractors in the Chicago area. If you cannot find any drop me a note. I will be happy to give you name names of several.

    Jory Lannes
    Lannes Group Inspections
    Evanston Illinois
    jory@lannesgroup.com


  42. #42
    Richard Thacker's Avatar
    Richard Thacker Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Read my post above. Unlike some I can almost 100 % guarantee you that all the things I mentioned, you need.

    As far as the last inspector. Other than ne ventilation, maybe nothing more showed up that was that obvious. If you had leaks in side the home not only he but you also would have seen them at the time of the inspection. No inspector is going to brush insulation out of the way to inspect the top of the drywall or plaster board.

    You need a good contractor. Someone that you can call several of his clients and verify his worth.

    As far as this statement.

    "I'm Certified by the Building Performance Institute and as a Home Energy Rater by RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network Network."

    Not picking on the man or anyone with those credentials but, So what.

    Any good contractor can tell you just as much if not more. Someone who has been taking care of this sort of thing all his life. Tried and true. You can not replace that with a classroomed accrediting.

    You need the attic sealed off better from the living space. You need non vented, if any, gas appliances vented to the exterior. I can guarantee you that you need more insulation. I can guarantee you that you need ventilation. If the bath vents are not vented to the exterior they need to be. The exterior does not mean the attic. I can guarantee you that you need roof shingle and water proofing work. I can guarantee you that you need some roof sheathing work.

    Some folks don't like to hear the truth but that is it. Am I from where you live, no. I lived in Mass for 36 years, Florida for 14 and Texas for 4 1/2 I have built and remodeled all my life along with inspecting.

    You need to get referrals to a good contractor that has handled many of these situations throughout his carrier]
    Excellent advice


  43. #43
    Christopher Gorton's Avatar
    Christopher Gorton Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Magda, you also asked about paint vs foil for a radiant barrier.
    I went for foil on my house as it has a dual purpose.It creates an air chase if nailed under the rafters from the soffit to the ridge. A ridge vent such as the CorA Vent rated for driving rain or snow is superior to the mesh types.
    Having duct work in the attic as I had and installing the radiant barrier helped the hvac unit work more efficiently as well.
    It would be a nice selling feature but it may take some time to make direct utility comparisons over different seasons. ie no direct evidence for the buyer.


  44. #44
    Inspector ILFLAZ's Avatar
    Inspector ILFLAZ Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Wow!
    Talk about a bunch of people that are either speaking the truth or guessing.
    MOLD was mentioned. Where is the mold? Prove it. The dark spot should be tested to be sure it is mold.
    What if it is black ink?

    I live in the same area as Magda.
    Her problems MAY be lack of sufficient ventilation AND moist air in the attic space, likely getting in there from the conditioned spaces below.
    I bet there is no roof leak.
    It is likely that all of the conditions that you have discussed are the problem, but unless she knows what to look for, a "contractor" can sell her anything except the proper remedies for the situation.

    The biggest culprit in this area is the lack of ventilation. It could result from inadequate square footage of vents at the ridge, lack of lower ventilation or blockage of the airflow from the eave area.

    Aquire information from:
    • a roofer (in Illinois roofers are required to be licensed by the State.)
    • An insulation professional.
    • The insulation professional may have a heat imaging device or camera. The device can show where you are losing heat to the attic.
    • Consider hiring an engineer that is licensed by the state
    • Read everything you can about attic ventilation for this region. There is a great deal of information available about insulation for this area. You will get quite an education. Then you can sort out the nonsense from the facts and make an educated decision about what you can do to properly remedy the situation. Your remedy will likely enhance the energy efficiency of your house. In this region, a properly vented attic temperature in the summer will be the nearly the same temperature as the outdoors.
    Once you decide what to do to remedy the situation, based on inforamtion that you have studied on your own and that which you have gathered from the professionals, make sure your contractors are repudable through sources like BBB, your friends, etc. Get your permtis from your municipality, make sure the contractors are registered with the municipality and those that are required to be licensed by the state.

    Now you can all criticize me.


  45. #45
    Join Date
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector ILFLAZ View Post
    Now you can all criticize me.
    Did not even read your post who-ever-you-are.

    Click on the 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of the page and ask Brian to change your username to your real name.

    We use our real names here so we can get to know each other. It also helps with addressing the problem, and the post, such as a post made by who-knows-who-because-they-did-not-use-their-real-name.

    If you actually read the posts above, you would have seen that we all use our real names, thus, to me, your post is bogus, by someone afraid to use their real name, which makes it even more bogus.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  46. #46
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector ILFLAZ View Post
    Wow!
    Talk about a bunch of people that are either speaking the truth or guessing.
    MOLD was mentioned. Where is the mold? Prove it. The dark spot should be tested to be sure it is mold.
    What if it is black ink?

    I live in the same area as Magda.
    Her problems MAY be lack of sufficient ventilation AND moist air in the attic space, likely getting in there from the conditioned spaces below.
    I bet there is no roof leak.
    It is likely that all of the conditions that you have discussed are the problem, but unless she knows what to look for, a "contractor" can sell her anything except the proper remedies for the situation.

    The biggest culprit in this area is the lack of ventilation. It could result from inadequate square footage of vents at the ridge, lack of lower ventilation or blockage of the airflow from the eave area.

    Aquire information from:
    • a roofer (in Illinois roofers are required to be licensed by the State.)
    • An insulation professional.
    • The insulation professional may have a heat imaging device or camera. The device can show where you are losing heat to the attic.
    • Consider hiring an engineer that is licensed by the state
    • Read everything you can about attic ventilation for this region. There is a great deal of information available about insulation for this area. You will get quite an education. Then you can sort out the nonsense from the facts and make an educated decision about what you can do to properly remedy the situation. Your remedy will likely enhance the energy efficiency of your house. In this region, a properly vented attic temperature in the summer will be the nearly the same temperature as the outdoors.
    Once you decide what to do to remedy the situation, based on information that you have studied on your own and that which you have gathered from the professionals, make sure your contractors are repudable through sources like BBB, your friends, etc. Get your permtis from your municipality, make sure the contractors are registered with the municipality and those that are required to be licensed by the state.

    Now you can all criticize me.

    Not to just attack you but you did say I could.


    Why is everyone told that any contractor can come in and say just about anything.

    Do you and every one else out there think that all contractors are crooks. The only thing need here is a thorough past history check of the contractor and how long he has been involved in this type of work. I hate to break this to you but the vast majority of contractors are really caring, nice, considerate, experienced, honest (did I say honest) individuals that want to do the right thing for their client.

    As far as reading up on the situation most home owners can read all they want and at best just get a general idea of how to resolve the situation and most home owners cannot do the work themselves. As far as there not being a leak. Huh. How do you know that for sure.

    As far as gathering information from professionals, what professionals. You mean like reading on this site and or a book or do you mean professionals like contractors that come out to look at it. I hope you mean the contractors. There is such a thing as getting multiple quotes for repairs with all the multiple quotes naming such items that are in need of repair.

    The only info Magda is going to get from this site is speculation and theories and such. Not one of us has actually laid eyes on the property.

    As far as believing what any home inspector will tell Magda What are you nuts or something. Those damn inspectors could tell Magda anything. I would not trust the lot of them

    And further more don't think for one minute that you can come on here and get the prize for poor spelling and improper word usage. I corner that market on here.


  47. #47
    Inspector ILFLAZ's Avatar
    Inspector ILFLAZ Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I never said that contractors are crooks. I am one myself.


    I said that I bet there is no leak in the roof. I never said that there is no leak in the roof.

    Just making the point that Magda should educate herself on this climate and the different options that she has to consider in the process of correcting her problem.

    Very sorry to speak candidly and to give some advice.


  48. #48
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    I was just giving you a hard time. After all you said I could


  49. #49
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Interesting,
    he lives in my neck of the woods
    but wants to live in JP's turf
    has a chip on his shoulder after only 2 posts
    I'm guessing either a longtime lurker, someone who used to post under their own name but now no longer does or a contractor who has been hammered by inspectors.
    Maybe more lame than interesting

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Virginia
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    Default Re: ice and water in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector ILFLAZ View Post
    Wow!
    Talk about a bunch of people that are either speaking the truth or guessing.
    MOLD was mentioned. Where is the mold? Prove it. The dark spot should be tested to be sure it is mold.
    What if it is black ink?

    I live in the same area as Magda.
    Her problems MAY be lack of sufficient ventilation AND moist air in the attic space, likely getting in there from the conditioned spaces below.

    I bet there is no roof leak.


    The biggest culprit in this area is the lack of ventilation. It could result from inadequate square footage of vents at the ridge, lack of lower ventilation or blockage of the airflow from the eave area.



    Now you can all criticize me.
    Black Ink? Gee I thought that MOLD had to be planted? Hey dude, everyone here is looking at a photo. Experience from thousands of inspections by the inspectors on this site give rational and reasonable explanations for the problems described by the owner based on the experience of those inspections and the photo attached. You have even posited that the moisture in the attic area is "likely getting in there from the conditioned spaces below". Well prove it.

    The point was and still is that because we are NOT ON SITE, we cannot observe the actual subject property and therefore everything is "educated speculation". But we do offer good reasons from our experience.

    Please read the posts carefully so you can comment thoughfully on what was actually written. And I agree, if you wish to post here ..... please use your name.


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