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Thread: snow in attic

  1. #1
    Charlotte Harrison's Avatar
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    Angry snow in attic

    We have a home in NE Oklahoma custom built 7 1/2 years ago. This is the second time after a snowfall that snow obviously blew into attic through vent at end of eve but also this time it came into ridge vents, piled up on top of attic insulation and melted making wet spots on ceiling of bottom floor. I am attaching pictures: #17 is the vent over a window to a bedroom that the ceiling sheetrock is very wet (2nd time) pictures 11 & 12. Picture 15 is pile of snow (after melting down for several days, it was much bigger) right under ridge vent in center of attic. # 19 is ridge vent. Why is this happening? Is this a design problem? Is this builder error? It seems like we should not be having this kind of problems in a fairly new house.

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  2. #2
    Charlotte Harrison's Avatar
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    Angry Re: snow in attic

    OK so now the fellows here trying to dry up say that there is another problem with another eve vent just like the one over that bedroom but it is on a point that is half our hearth room and half a sreened in porch. When he crawed through attic to get over there to see why we have water in hearth room he said the screened porch area has 1/2 to 1 inch of solid ice on it's ceiling which is just cedar sheeting I think, see photo 001. Then see picture 004 the lower corner is the door to the screen porch so can see where it melted and soaked in yesterday when it got above feezing. Oh and by the way I am adding picture 003 where the guys trying to dry out the attic fell through into so you can see I am having a bad day.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Also I might add that the guys here doing cleanup sent by my insurance agency, say they have not seen attic vents that big.....not sure they know what they are talking about is there a certain size for those types of attic vents? I mean like number of inches from main part of house or number of inches it should come down before attic opening? There is just a screen over it to keep out birds I presume but the bottom opening is fairly level with the attic opening....


  4. #4
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    - In pic 1 of post 1 that 'gable vent' looks huge and wide open from what I can tell. Not sure since it is somewhat dark or shaded. I can't say I've seen a vent set-up like that before. Looks like it would just let the elements whip right in.
    - From what I am seeing in pic 4 post 1 I don't think you have snow coming in. Looks more like lots of condensation. Which would go along with my thoughts on the big vent.
    - The roof vent in pic 5 post 1 does not look like a standard roof vent. Looks more like an fan exhaust roof termination. I doubt this has much to do with your situation.
    - Do you have bath fans venting into the attic, is the insulation complete without voids?
    I would suggest hiring and independent inspector to assess attic venting, insulation and air infiltration from the occupied space. Mass condensation rather than snow entry seems to be the issue from what I see.
    Maybe someone from your weather area will chime in.
    Good luck

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    Default Re: snow in attic

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    That looks like a misplaced soffit and not a gable vent! I have never seen a design like that. Without anything to block snow, rats, mice, birds and a misthrown Frisbee it is amazing that you have not had problems before now.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Unhappy Re: snow in attic

    OK What you are seeing in that first picture is just what it looks like! I have been looking for something like it online since I posted and have found nothing! The main wall of the house is about 6-8 inches in from the wall that comes down from the gable about 4-5 feet. The inside wall (main wall of house) terminates about 3 inches up under the outer wall. There is screen across there to keep birds out I guess but the rest of that area is just open to the attic. There is one of these on the east, one on the west and two on the north.

    It is not condensation. The picture that has the snow was a big pile of white snow yesterday but my camera battery was dead and that was all that was left today to get a picture of. It is in the very middle of the attic, far from all of those crazy gable vents but right below one of those roof vents that you said looks like an exhaust. I am attaching a picture of what they sort of look like, they are all along the top of the house with 10 inch holes into attic underneath them. The pile of snow and resulting wet spot on my ceiling under it are in the main part of my open living area where the entry, diningroom and main livingroom all come together, far from any exhaust.

    We had what we were told was a first class builder, build the house of our dreams, went $200,000 over what we originally planned to spend, and have a beautiful 3700 square foot headache. I think we've been screwed......

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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Wow, thats a lot of roof vents. Between those and the end vents that attic must be a wind tunnel. You are probably right that it is snow entry.
    You really need to talk to somebody who is familiar with your climate and if/why that much venting would be appropriate.
    While the inspector is up on the roof I would also have him assess the 4 large Chimney? enclosures. The tops look open, that can't be good.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Sorry Markus that is not our roof, that is a picture I found to show what the vents looke like. We have about 6 or 7 of them and they look similar to those.


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    Default Re: snow in attic

    vents appear to be
    GAF Roofing – MasterFlow Vents - MasterFlow Roof Louvers

    seen louver defects and leakage with these

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    We live in Owasso Ok, right near Tulsa. We do have unusual snow right now but this is the second time we have had snow in the attic over that bedroom. I looked around and saw similar gables on other houses, called a neighbor and they said theirs was also open but they thought it was offset more and not quite that large.


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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Harrison View Post
    Sorry Markus that is not our roof, that is a picture I found to show what the vents looke like. We have about 6 or 7 of them and they look similar to those.
    I thought that looked like an apartment complex or something!!

    I concur with what these other guys are saying. That opening on the gable is unusual and too large IMO.

    With the multiple issues, I'd hire an inspector and get his opinion.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

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    Default Re: snow in attic

    So you have roof vents AND gable vents? If so, that is a problem in and of itself. Your attic should have vents located high (e.g., roof vents, ridge vent, gable vents) and vents located low (e.g., soffit vents). With that arrangement warm air exhausting out the high vents will be replaced by air that is drawn in the low vents; the flow between the low and high vents will ventilate the entire attic space (or at least a good portion of it).

    When you have roof vents AND gable vents the ventilation will be short-circuited so that warm air exhausting out the roof vents will draw air in through the gable vents instead of the soffit vents. This will leave most of the attic effectively unventilated.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Bruce, thank you so much. I believe you are correct! The insurance company is sending a structural engineer to look at things. Tonight we had another big issue. We put in a pool last year and have a "bubble" over it for swiming year round. this year we put it up with huge zip ties connected to eye bolts in the cement deck. As we were leaving to go to dinner I looked out the window and the bubble was blowing massively in the winds of the new snow storm coming through. I ran out and the zip ties were freezing and breaking. It took all my strength to hold the side with the zipper as we let the bubble down to keep the zipper from going under the water. Then we had to get to the hardware store to get some steel quick connects to replace the zip ties. Out there in the freezing rain and blowing snow, another lesson learned, plastic zip ties will freeze and snap in cold temps! Really bad day!


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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Harrison View Post
    Bruce, thank you so much. I believe you are correct! The insurance company is sending a structural engineer to look at things. Tonight we had another big issue. We put in a pool last year and have a "bubble" over it for swiming year round. this year we put it up with huge zip ties connected to eye bolts in the cement deck. As we were leaving to go to dinner I looked out the window and the bubble was blowing massively in the winds of the new snow storm coming through. I ran out and the zip ties were freezing and breaking. It took all my strength to hold the side with the zipper as we let the bubble down to keep the zipper from going under the water. Then we had to get to the hardware store to get some steel quick connects to replace the zip ties. Out there in the freezing rain and blowing snow, another lesson learned, plastic zip ties will freeze and snap in cold temps! Really bad day!
    Charlotte, how much snow has fallen in your neighborhood the last two weeks? And what was the deepest depth of accumulated snow during that time?
    Fred - from MN

    Fred Comb, ACI
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    That soffit/gable vent looks like an oversized bat house.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    We had 21 inches last tuesday, another 4 on Friday and it looks like about 8 last night. We have drifts that are as tall as me 5' 3". It has only been above freezing I think for 2 days maybe 3 and not enough to really melt much off outside. This is very unusual and record setting for Northeast Oklahoma. We usually get 1-5 snowfalls an inch to maybe 5-6 inches that melts off in a day or 2. I had cut a path through 2 -3 ft drifts to get to the pool bubble and they are all completely full again today and it is still coming down.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Sounds like you had some high winds along with the snow and cold temperatures. I have seen this often, not to the extent you have in your attic. The high winds carried the cold/dry snow against the house and right up in the “funky” gable vent. To have this happen again you need a similar storm to the one you just experienced, may be awhile before this occurs again. I have not seen such a large vent before, but I live in Colorado and it would not be a good design for our climate. One suggestion for a fix is to put screen on the inside of the gable vent. There may, or should have a screen material over it now for keeping birds and such out. A screen material that would filter out the snow and still allow air to circulate would be optimal.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    There is screen on it. This is at least the second time this has occured in this house in the 7 years. I look around the neighborhood and see this is common at least around here but what I think is, either it is made wrong, ie: the measurements are not correct or they should not have been put on the house on that north with a slightly east turn side OR as Bruce pointed out, with both gable and roof vents I am sucking in instead of air moving out. Either way I am thinking it is builder error but will see what the engineer has to say. This site is wonderful I want to tell you it is wonderful to be able to bounce this stuff off of guys as knowledgable as you guys on here. Thanks for all you do, ALL of you!


  20. #20
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Harrison View Post
    There is screen on it. This is at least the second time this has occured in this house in the 7 years. I look around the neighborhood and see this is common at least around here but what I think is, either it is made wrong, ie: the measurements are not correct or they should not have been put on the house on that north with a slightly east turn side OR as Bruce pointed out, with both gable and roof vents I am sucking in instead of air moving out. Either way I am thinking it is builder error but will see what the engineer has to say. This site is wonderful I want to tell you it is wonderful to be able to bounce this stuff off of guys as knowledgable as you guys on here. Thanks for all you do, ALL of you!

    Not to be crude but gable vents suck and blow as you stated. Sometimes the air drafts from one end of the home thru the attic and out the other end of the home. As far as the air current being "short circuited", not necessarily true. I all cases and configurations of attic ventilation at times the air flow can be short circuited but not all the time and not even most of the time in this case.

    I would venture to say that the screening has over sized holes in it. It has to for even fine snow to get in. It has to blow up into that hole under the backside of the gable and then in to the attic thru the screen. This is not an easy task for the snow to flow through fine screening. If you brought a piece of standard screening up there you will probably find that this is the case. The probably have course screening on the gable vents so it will stop most insects and deter birds and rodents as well. This keep them from adding a very course tough screening and a finer screening.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    I went into the attic today to see what happened last night. The restoraration guys had put a fan up there but when I told them it was in the wrong place they just turned it off and did not move it. SO when I go in today there under that same roof vent as last time is a pile of snow. I am attaching pictures. The snow on top of the white insulation is hard to see but you can see it on top of the board where I wrote snow. Also you can see a snow build up in the vent itself. I looked at all the other vents and this is the only one that had snow in it. Also I am interested in what you guys think of the pictures of the furnace exhaust and around the furnace on floor and the snow there.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Harrison View Post
    I went into the attic today to see what happened last night. The restoraration guys had put a fan up there but when I told them it was in the wrong place they just turned it off and did not move it. SO when I go in today there under that same roof vent as last time is a pile of snow. I am attaching pictures. The snow on top of the white insulation is hard to see but you can see it on top of the board where I wrote snow. Also you can see a snow build up in the vent itself. I looked at all the other vents and this is the only one that had snow in it. Also I am interested in what you guys think of the pictures of the furnace exhaust and around the furnace on floor and the snow there.
    Well, the roof vent and flue are the entire problem. It is not the gable vents at all. The roof vents have no screening on then and that blowing snow just works its way in. There is suppose to be a flange that slides over the flue pipe above that roof attachment boot you see in the picture.

    You need to change the roof top vents to a more practical vent that the snow does not blow straight in the side and down into the attic. Any good roofer should be able to fix these concerns. He won't need to get on the roof. He just needs to look at the picture or go into the attic as you did. Your HVAC man should fix the flue so snow does not come in and your roofer can do the rest.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Well Ted the roof vent is just one problem. That is in the center of the house about 15 feet inside front door. The house is only one story here. The upper floor is only 3 rooms running front to back over the garage (it is on the right side with the coupola on top) and master bedroom behind it. I am posting picture of house to give you reference. If you note the gable vent in my first post, this is another problem. It is on the back of the second story. I'm posting a picture of the restoration guys, right inside the window you see in that picture, after they cut a hole in the ceiling. This was after one guy ran down stairs for a trash bag and told me they had punched through and water was pouring out and I grabbed my camera and ran up there. You can see a good amount of water is still flowing out of the ceiling. Then they got up into that attic space and removed insulation for about 12 feet back into the direction I took the picture from. I might add that until they cut that hole there was no entrance into this attic section over the second floor.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    There is so much which is so very WRONG (read unsafe, dangerous, etc.) in this picture, that one is easily overwhelmed with the spoty information, symptoms and other spoty close-up photos are more distressing. More than a little disturbed photo of a completely different building's roof with a host of obvious and unrelated issues was IMO deceptively inserted into the discussion. The "pool dome" is IMO a failure to "see the forest for the trees" - the pool, the three-season room's ceiling - these are the least of the concerns - structural integrity and/or collapse/deterioration as well as fire hazards, shock hazards, and asphixiation hazards should be A-#1, remediation and mitigation and safety, whether it is even remotely safe to continue to occupy, and if systems can be safely operated - the pool cover just doesn't rank high on that list! Preventing more intrusion - reducing the infiltrated loads, preventing MORE damage and reducing the stress and preventing more source - securing safety.



    Little late but so much is wrong, unsupported openings, misalignments, I see bigger picture issues - i.e. structure, strength, support, self-described unremediated snow load upon roof, stress load of water soaked materials, as well as fire/asphix dangers. If I'm following story correctly, this is not the first time this has happened (before years prior) so the "idea" some of what is pictured and discussed (such as no access, etc.) should have been discovered, explored, and remediated already before, and is further disturbing. Also as indicated in above photo, seems clear modifications by other than the "builder" have taken place - such as unqualified CA/SAT-TV and other "work", such as a massive paddle fan/ceiling fan placed over a ceiling HVAC register/diffuser, or mechanicals in attic space having no access (not even via closet ceiling scuttle?!?).



    Realize you are concerned with the instant crisis remediation, but you have bigger issues which will need to be addressed beyond the temporary.

    Dig up the STAMPED plans and change orders; you will need them, and hire an independant engineer AND plans reviewer/architect, etc. to review, inspect, and outline remediation; independant from the insurance company/adjuster services. Insurance isn't likely going to cover all that is needed to be done.

    Some of the descriptions make no sense, especially with overall front view of home. fuel fired mechanicals must have access. See three dormers at front of home, not over garage ell. Not interested really in addressing, it appears obvious OP has not and did not engage independant inspection services, or progress inspection services/built-to-plans review by arch or other.

    Equally concerning is photo of unprotected workers pictured under bulging, delaminating liquid water logged ceiling. Professional crews working under supervision, OSHA guidelines, etc. are needed, that you are in same room photographing a failed/failing unsupported gyp ceiling subject to collapse is additionally concerning. You first photographed area claiming worker fell through, later indicate the "opening" was intentional from below. This is NOT how water logged area above is drained. Real professionals with overall guidance from one performing a proper site evaluation and remediation plan is necessary. The property may well be subject to a condemnation/not safe to occupy order for the time being at least: from what has been stated and photographed - that seems to be more likely than not.

    If storage in truss or room in truss over garage orig plans and insp. then "finished" afterwards "on the sly" - without permit/inspection - post CofO wouldn't surprise me - one bit. Suspect quite a bit has been modified by other than original plan or "builder"/building permit(s) to "bump out, within" the living space - poss. to avoid sprinklering, permitting, requirements for plan approval, and other safety requirements, and tax assessments, post-orig. construction.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-10-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Mr. Snowbird, that's a totally unfair assessment! You do not have sufficient information to suggest this home may be condemned.

    Charlotte, if you need assistance, feel free to use my contact info.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  26. #26
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Mr Watson,
    I am only a regular person not an inspector. I don't understand much of what you are saying. It is like when my husband and I (he is an MD, I am an RN) try to talk to people about medical issues. We have to remember they don't have the same knowledge base or vocabulary as we do.
    The house has seen 7 winters. The dormers over porch are false, they go into attic space. There have been no additions or changes that were not done before building was finished. There has been nothing done to the furnace or it's exhaust. HVAC has been only worked on and serviced by the same company who installed it. House is hard wired with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with monitored service.
    The gable in my first post is on the back side of the right side of the house. On that side below is garage then master bath, closets and sitting area. Above (front to back)is large gameroom then bath and stair entrance on the left, hall and closets on the right, then the guest room. The guest room, is the room inside the gable (in first post), in which the guys opened the ceiling. In that room is a door that goes out into the attic space over the rest of the house. That is where the furnaces are and where those fake dormer windows come in. That furnace is one of 3 furnaces up there. The attic space that there was no access to is the space above the ceilings in that guest room, bath, hall and gameroom upstairs. It is not a very big space not big enough to stand up in. The opening into it from the main attic is full of HVAC duct work going into it, leaving no space to crawl through.
    On the back side of the main part of the house is a screen porch on left and next to it a hearth room on right. In between the front of the house and those 2 areas is, (lt to rt) bedroom, entry, dining room. Then (again lt to rt), great room and kitchen. With the exception of the bedroom and a partial wall around kitchen, this is all open space, rooms all open to each other. Trusses were used to make this happen without the need for interior weight bearing walls. SO where the screen porch and hearth room start, there are roof trusses turned going front to back, that you can not see in the picture, resulting in a gable on the back side of the house (would be about same place as front door, but on the back) The screen porch ceiling is level with the hearth room ceiling and the great room ceiling area around a "tray" ceiling in the great room. When the guys crawled through to that area in the attic they found ice on the ceiling of the screen porch and piles of snow on top of the insulation over the hearth room. There are none of those roof vents in that area of roof, only the gable vent on the very back of house just like the one outside the guest room. Right now we just have some water staining from the other day when it got above freezing and started melting, right inside door to screen porch. Since then we have had much more snow. Th restoration company looked again today and found much more snow. The temp is to get up to 59 on Sunday and they are going to try to come back today and remove the ice and snow before it melts.
    All along the top of the house, on the ridge that you see in the picture, going left to right, just over the ridge on the back side, are those room vents, 9 of them. (I apologize for putting the picture of that other building, I was trying to show what kind of vent I was talking about and I could not get a good picture of mine from the outside.) The one roof vent which I pictured with the snow in it and under it, is the middle one.
    I apologize for my cropped in photos, this web site would not upload my photos because they were too big. The only way I could get them to upload was to crop out the part I was talking about. I would be glad to email full photos to anyone who wants me to.
    As for my rant about the bubble, I stood out there in zero degrees with 20mph winds and blowing snow, hanging onto that thing while the air came out until I was in tears and I am sorry I posted it here as you are correct, it has nothing to do with my attic.
    The structural engineer the insurance company has promised us has not called to schedule a time to come yet. If I understand you correctly you think we should hire a different one?
    I might add for all of you inspectors, we live in a rural area so the building codes may not be the same as what you are used to. However the county did make regular inspections during the building process and our builder also builds many houses in the city too.
    My intention with this post is to try to clarify not confuse. So I hope you see we have 3 problem areas with snow in the attic. 1. the upstairs bedroom due to snow blowing into gable vent, 2. center of the house due to snow blowing into roof vent, and 3. back of house with snow and ice blowing in through another gable vent. Thanks again to all who are trying to help me.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Thank you Fred! I did not see your post until after my last one went up. I also meant to tell you guys that yes, last year we did have water in that same area in the upstairs bedroom after a snowfall (nothing like this time). We thought it was a roof leak. By the time the snow all melted and a roofer came out, the ceiling had dried. He could find no reason for the roof to leak in that area and so he said it must have been a "freaky" wind thay blew snow up into that gable vent and it probably would not happen again. We accepted that.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    We did hire an arcitectural firm to draw up the original blueprints to build a house that I had been dreaming of for years. I did have to make concessions because my ideas were not always "smart" from a structural standpoint. This was a true custom build, not one that our builder builds and then sells.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    I just reread your note and I am getting madder by the minute. You really need to go back over my notes and photos. The man fell through into my dining room. The workers draining water are in the guest room upstairs. They are employees of Worldwide Restoration, a company hired by my insurance company to try to stop the immediate damage from getting worse. If they are unprotected then they need to bring this up with their employer. The house was completed down to every nail and paint color by the builder who has a wonderful reputation, has been builder of the year for the greater Tulsa Metro area and has a BBB rating of A+. He came highly recommended. BUT we have lived long enough to know that everyone screws up sometime.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    I'll try and put this in general terms in a way you might better understand.

    As a Nurse and MD you are quite aware that what may be sufficient support and safe use for a person of 200 or 250 lbs, such as a wheel chair or walker would not be safe to be used by a person exceeding those weight limitations, or for that matter girth - such as a morbidly obese person weighing 450+ lbs.

    Your trusses are not designed to carry extreme loading in the truss space of the hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of water now saturating the materials within that space.

    Neither are your ceiling coverings - gyp board, "cedar" board, etc. designed to maintain their integrity to hold fully saturated, and bearing weight from saturated materials above as well as liquid water or frozen water.

    The "strength" of the "skeleton" of the truss is designed at the materials of same being maintained at a "MC" or moisture content. You might think of this in terms of "bone density" and as same is reduced or ossified, the "strength" and "bearing" capacities of said skelleton being reduced.

    You might also consider that the sheathing on the roof is structural - just like a skelleton, and its ligaments, cartilege, and muscular makeup which "holds things in place". As a discolated hip wont allow much in the way of "bearing", and the related cartilege, fiberous, semi and soft tissues further subject to damage should same be attempted, as is the "skelleton", "webbing" and "membranes" of the structural aspects of your building.

    Load up that low density skelleton with additional stresses including weight - and further subject to failures/breaks/injuries.

    Collections of water, snow, ice = weight, and in the case of frozen water - expansion, movement, breakage.

    You picture bowing ceilings, one gyp base with flowing water - subject to collapse.

    Further you picture un-stopped, and unsupported, questionably postioned and configured B-venting in attic space - and two openings to the roof sheating which are unsupported openings (cut beyond support) - both showing moisture and bowing at sheating seams.

    Your later post includes additional details regards to potentially dangerous loads and possiblity for failure.

    Trusses not designed to load within or in excess of specified load within or from below can and do fail.

    As a medical professional you are quite aware of the weight of liquid water.

    The gas venting in the attic space is unsupported, incorrect, unstopped, and in close proximity to combustible materials and the structure. This situation is a hazard, a dangerous one, and needs correction. Electrical environment of the appliance pictured is a hazard, a dangerous one - as the environment is WET (pictured SNOW and WATER).


    Wet bowing ceilings pictured subject to collapse - Needs immediate interim remediation quickly and safely.

    Yes contact the original architect if necessary for the orginal plans, determine if same reviewed construction and any change orders and stamped or signed off on them, AND an independant structural engineer to devise and design an interim safety mitigation plan, and to then to design a remediation plan.

    Again, trying to make more readily understood from the perspective you might be more comfortable with - you need an expert (OR SEVERAL) to examine and determine a differential diagnosis! There are many "issues" going on - treating the "disease" or "defects" NOT JUST THE SYMPTOMS is required. Getting to the root of the problem, but first deteriming what ALL the problems/consequences of the state of the building NOW is needed.

    Such as a victim with multiple cervical spine fractures from an auto accident might require not only neuro surgeon, orthopedic surgeon consultations but be fit with a "halo" to stablize and support during the healing process and for a time possibly be additionally releved from "structural" stresses - require additional system supportive measures and precautions - and expert monitoring to assure the efforts of those involved in the overall care are effective in maintaining and effecting recovery not ineffective or doing harm; however if same patient is bleeding in the brain, has multiple organ injuries and failures - as you know, you must triage and determine/prioritize in your course of treatment. Stitching up a lacerated knee so as to afford the smallest scar upon healing is not a priority when the patient's heart isn't beating, or unable to breathe.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-10-2011 at 11:13 AM.

  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Harrison View Post
    We did hire an arcitectural firm to draw up the original blueprints to build a house that I had been dreaming of for years. I did have to make concessions because my ideas were not always "smart" from a structural standpoint. This was a true custom build, not one that our builder builds and then sells.

    The best suggestion I can give you Charlotte is to remove all existing vents and have ridge vents installed on every ridge of the home. This will kill any of the snow concerns and probably give you much more efficient ventilation thru your entire attic area.

    Trust me ion this. For all the problems (and repeated problems) this will not only solve them all but draft that hot summer air out much better....as long as you have sufficient eve vents.

    Out of everything said on here that is the best idea and I do honestly suggest you do it and of course fix that flue pipe up thru the roof. It looks like satellite cable wires coming in thru the bottom of that flue flashing as well. That has to go and be run into the home properly.


  32. #32
    Charlotte Harrison's Avatar
    Charlotte Harrison Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    Ted, you are right! That did not register with me because we only had that satellite for a little while after we moved in because cable was not available. Once cable got to us we no longer used the satellite but they never removed the equipment from the roof. The cable wires come in from another place put in by the builder and not through the roof. So I guess there was some "modification" done there by the satellite guys. I am wondering why the HVAC guys who HAVE been here about once a year to service system, have never said anything about it. That part will be an easy fix I think! If I am understanding you, you say we could put in ridge vent and remove all those roof vents, close up gable vents and between the ridge vent and eve vents (it looks like there is one every 5-6 feet) we would be fine? I have seen a picture of a ridge vent that looked like a long vent over entire ridge. Is that what you are talking about?

    Mr Melton, please do not respond to me anymore. You are pompous and arrogant and your manner of writing (broken sentance structure, lack of proper punctuation) is very confusing. Please leave the answering to those who truely wish to help.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Harrison View Post
    Ted, you are right! That did not register with me because we only had that satellite for a little while after we moved in because cable was not available. Once cable got to us we no longer used the satellite but they never removed the equipment from the roof. The cable wires come in from another place put in by the builder and not through the roof. So I guess there was some "modification" done there by the satellite guys. I am wondering why the HVAC guys who HAVE been here about once a year to service system, have never said anything about it. That part will be an easy fix I think! If I am understanding you, you say we could put in ridge vent and remove all those roof vents, close up gable vents and between the ridge vent and eve vents (it looks like there is one every 5-6 feet) we would be fine? I have seen a picture of a ridge vent that looked like a long vent over entire ridge. Is that what you are talking about?

    Mr Melton, please do not respond to me anymore. You are pompous and arrogant and your manner of writing (broken sentance structure, lack of proper punctuation) is very confusing. Please leave the answering to those who truely wish to help.
    Charlotte, pay little to no attention to Watson aka, Snowbird. Most of us have learned to ignore this person and just put up with their blabber. All we know about Watson is, well very little. It is a fictitious person dreamed up by what many of us think is a retired elderly individual who is looking for admiration and entertainment.

    I think Ted has given you the best advice so far.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Mr. Watson - this house doctor prescribes chill pills for you. Take two immediately, followed by two at bedtime. If overreacting attitude continues, take two with breakfast.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  35. #35
    Charlotte Harrison's Avatar
    Charlotte Harrison Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    Thank you Scott, that is exactly what my husband and I thought. He had not been reading my posts or the replies, so I had him read them all and we had a good laugh about it.


  36. #36
    Charlotte Harrison's Avatar
    Charlotte Harrison Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    thank you Dr Fred, I concur


  37. #37
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    When you have roof vents AND gable vents the ventilation will be short-circuited so that warm air exhausting out the roof vents will draw air in through the gable vents instead of the soffit vents. This will leave most of the attic effectively unventilated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    As far as the air current being "short circuited", not necessarily true. I all cases and configurations of attic ventilation at times the air flow can be short circuited but not all the time and not even most of the time in this case.
    You're right, Ted. I did not mean to imply that the roof vents and gable vents will short circuit all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    The best suggestion I can give you Charlotte is to remove all existing vents and have ridge vents installed on every ridge of the home. This will kill any of the snow concerns and probably give you much more efficient ventilation thru your entire attic area.

    Trust me ion this. For all the problems (and repeated problems) this will not only solve them all but draft that hot summer air out much better....as long as you have sufficient eve vents.
    I would like to make three points regarding Ted's advice:

    1) Some ridge vents will allow snow to blow into the attic through the ridge vent due to their design while others are designed specifically to prevent rain and snow to blow through them. I am not trying to promote a specific product but Lomanco makes a ridge vent with baffles that are designed to prevent snow and rain from blowing through the ridge vent into the attic.

    2) If the roof vents are replaced with ridge vents and the gable vents are left in place the potential for short circuiting between the ridge vents and gable vents remains.

    3) I noticed in the photo of your house that the ridges are at two, possibly three, elevations. (A high ridge over the central part of the house, a lower ridge to the sides of the central part of the house, and a high ridge where the cupola is located.) If the attic spaces communicate with each other the possibility exists for the low and high ridge vents to short circuit. For this reason I would recommend not installing ridge vents on the dormers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I would venture to say that the screening has over sized holes in it. It has to for even fine snow to get in. It has to blow up into that hole under the backside of the gable and then in to the attic thru the screen. This is not an easy task for the snow to flow through fine screening.
    I'm not picking on you, Ted. That may be true with the wet snow you get in Fort Worth but the fine snow that often falls in "snow country" can find its way through tiny openings when blown by wind.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  38. #38
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    Actually I have found that lower ridges do not short circuit the draft in that section of attic when you have higher ridges. In fact I have gone into multiple attics at different times of year and have made specific note that the upper vent does in fact draw air from lower ridge vents which only draws more air up thru the eve vents of the lower roof. In the summer time these lower ridge vented attics were cooler than that particular section attic cut off from the upper attic. No matter which way you look at it the draw is greater. Hot air rises. You just cannot stop it. Simple test. Go into a garage and then the garage attic where all the air has to be drawn thru other attic spaces to get out the roof. Not only the attic above the garage but the garage itself is always hotter than having roof top or ridge vents of its own. It takes to long for this air to pull all the way thru the other attic and the garage attic space heats up more than those garages with their own vents. It also keeps the upper attic that the air is drawn thru hotter.

    The factor of even slightly short circuiting the air flow on different days and temps does not out way the the benefits of the air flowing most of the time up the roof plain and out the ridge vent.

    If you think about it there is an extreme amount of dead air days in the heat of the summer. The air pulls in thru the eves up the plain of the roof and out the ridge vent at each attic section. To just put the ridge vents on the upper ridge all that hot air has to slowly make its way thru the attic to that upper ridge heating the attic even more. Same as that garage I mentioned.

    Attics have always been a pet peeve of mine. My belief is that attics are the single greatest factor affecting the homes living environment.

    You are correct that some ridge vents do allow snow in and I should have mentioned that before but that is only the open type and not the mesh type. The mesh type blocks anything but air to get in.

    You are also correct that *at times* there is a slight short circuit of air, but not all or even most of the time.


  39. #39
    Charlotte Harrison's Avatar
    Charlotte Harrison Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    Thanks Bruce, you are correct there is the high central ridge and lower ridges on each side of the central ridge. There is also a high ridge coming straight off the back of the center of the central ridge. Then there are the ridges on those 3 dormers you see on the front. On the right side is the high ridge with the cupola and if you look close there is a dormer coming out of that roof towards the front porch, this comes off the gameroom there. All of that central part of the house you see, along with those 3 dormers, is open inside. The area under the ridge on the back of the central part is open to that same area by a hole in the sheeting about 15 x 5 ft. The area above the right side has a small opening to the main attic but like I said it is full of HVAC ducts and a person can not get through but air might.

    I need to make some corrections to what I said before (I got my snow boots on and went out to look) There are 2 gable vents on the west side, one under each ridge. There ARE roof vents going into the roof line coming off the back of the house along with the gable vent back there.

    Do you think if we covered the gable vents and got better roof vents it would be equal to what Ted was talking about?


  40. #40
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    Default Re: snow in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Actually I have found that lower ridges do not short circuit the draft in that section of attic when you have higher ridges. In fact I have gone into multiple attics at different times of year and have made specific note that the upper vent does in fact draw air from lower ridge vents which only draws more air up thru the eve vents of the lower roof.
    Ted, what you just described is what I mean by short-circuiting. Warm air rises. Warm air should exhaust from the attic through the ridge vent. An equal amount of air should be drawn in through the soffit vents (which, I assume, is what you mean by "eave vents"). When air is induced to flow into the attic at the lower ridge vent that is short-circuiting.

    I don't understand your explanation of how more air is drawn into the attic through the soffit (eave) vents when the ridge vents short-circuit. Let's look at air flow out of and into the attic. I will call air flow out of the attic Qout and air flow into the attic Qin. Would you agree that Qout = Qin? (In other words, air flow out of the attic must equal air flow into the attic.) Ideally, all the Qout would be at the ridge vents and all the Qin would be at the soffit (eave) vents. As you described above, when the ridge vents short circuit some of the Qin is shifted to the lower ridge vent. This means LESS Qin is occurring at the soffit (eave) vents. It also means the portion of the attic between the soffit (eave) vents and ridge vents is less ventilated than if the flow of air was all from the soffit (eave) vents to the ridge vents. I hope that makes sense to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You are correct that some ridge vents do allow snow in and I should have mentioned that before but that is only the open type and not the mesh type. The mesh type blocks anything but air to get in.
    I could not diasgree with you more. The mesh may keep out some insects, pests, and debris but it absolutely will NOT stop wind-driven rain and fine snow.

    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 02-10-2011 at 05:13 PM.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  41. #41
    Rocky Illinois's Avatar
    Rocky Illinois Guest

    Default Re: snow in attic

    We have had the same problem here in Illinois. The roof vents you have ae called slant backs commonly used all over. With high driven winds snow is forced in, its the nature of the beast. As a Builder its my opinion that your builder did not do anything wrong as far as the roof vents are concerned. Ive been in contact with a local company that has come up with solution to this costly ongoing problem. According to the local rep this product will be available by fall 2012, the company is called Prevent Tech, inc. out of Illinois. did your problem ever get solved? and if not when I get more info on this new product I will post it.


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