Ice Dams?  Roof Leaks?  Attic Condensation?  Mold?

Are you experiencing problems with ice backup dams and a leaking roof?

  • Do you have soffit vents in your roof eaves?
  • Are your soffit vents blocked?


Soffit vents are an important component of the attic ventilation system. They are the source of cool dry air that replaces the warm moist air which is being exhausted by the ridge, gable, or other venting installed on the roof.

Without these lower intake sources, the attic ventilation is seriously compromised. The upper vents will work to expel the warm air, but, they will have to act as both exhaust and intake. Limiting their effectiveness. Heat from both the living space and from the sun will warm the attic space and cause any snow on the roof to melt, flow to the cold gutter and freeze into ice dams. The result is leaking behind the gutters, water in the soffit and behind the siding, and eventually water inside the house ruining drywall, paint and wallpaper.

More insulation will help, but:

Many homeowners are adding more insulation to their attic space to prevent heat loss through the ceiling and reduce energy costs. Often, the insulation installer will neglect to install a device to prevent the insulation from filling or blocking the soffit area and therefore cut off the intake air from the soffit vent. Cardboard, plastic or Styrofoam baffles or air chutes are sold just for the purpose of keeping the soffit airway open.

Just as often, the insulation installer will unknowingly, or from lack of common sense, fill the soffit cavity or block the ventilation baffle with insulation.


Without soffit vents or with blocked soffit vents:

  • Attic ventilation is greatly reduced.
  • Warm moist air condenses on the roof decking and drips onto the insulation.
  • Mold begins to grow on the roof boards and rafters.
  • Ice dams form and leak into the home.



Proper installation of soffit vents, along with ridge and/or gable vents, plus proper installation of soffit vent baffles or airways:

  • Will insure that your attic can breathe and exhaust hot moist air.
  • Allow roof sheathing to dry.
  • Reduce condensation and mold growth.
  • Reduce possibilty of ice dams and roof leaks.



If you are having problems with ice damming and roof leaks.

  • First check your soffits / eave overhang to see if there is any venting installed.
  • Check to see that you have adequate insulation for your climate.
  • Check for adequate roof exhaust ventilation, ridge, gable, power vent etc.
  • Make sure the ventilation from the soffit is not blocked with insulation. If so, just remove or pull the insulation back to make an airspace. Bigger is better, but a 2 inch gap will suffice. Leave as much insulation out to the edge of the interior wall as possible to retain the homes heat. If the attic is very low you can sometimes use a leaf rake to pull the insulation back. Insulation baffles can be purchased at most home improvement centers.
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