attic venthilation???

per my post about the stupid ice dam I had, I was in the attic of the house we just purchased and noted an even 12+ inches (or more) of blown in insulation, and home inspector noted this to be more than sufficient for an R38+. However, I've noticed it has been blown into all corners, completely covering the soffits! The house has recently installed soffit and fascia, so its completely vented soffit from end to end on both sides of the house (large, rectangle bilevel).
this is clearly NOT a good thing, and likely the cause of the small amount of white crystalline frost I noticed at the peak of the house. The house has 3 12" square roof vents almost at the peak (one on either end, one in the middle of the roof), and roughly 12 x 18 gable end vents on each end. The roof vents were completely submerged in snow until recently, so they were not helping :( what is the best way to maximize ventilation? I would think just using a plastic rake, pulling the insulation back from the soffits and leaving them open would be enough. I've seen those styrofoam things that you push down, but that doesn't seem like it would be helpful.
what would be a good approach here? is pulling the insulation back from the soffitts and opening them up sufficient and/or appropriate? or do I actually require those styrofoam things? will I have to use a shop-vac to vacuum the vents clean? since the leak, I've got to replace a few batts of insulation, I might as well make good use of the time up there!
any advice would be appreciated.
b
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I believe opening the soffit areas will help to reduce the chance of ice dams. You don't have to buy the styrofoam things, you could cut up old boxes to hold the insulation back. The foam product is sized to fit most construction.

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A quick fix might be to blow the insulation away from the vents with an air compressor or leaf blower from the outside.
Bob
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Hamilton Audio wrote:

That would be your first step. It needs to be done. You will also need to pull the insulation back and supply some kind of dam to keep a passage open. Those foam things work, as do a lot of other things.
You may need to clean out the area of the eves, if the insulation is now in there blocking circulation.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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I had the same problem. I replaced some of the soffit vents, cleaned other ones. Relocated over 2 garbage cans of blown-in.

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