My house is the only one in the neighborhood with icicles - why?

I live in the northeastern US, and the temperatures this month have been around 10 degrees or colder most of the time.
My house is the only one on the street with icicles. I know that means I've got some sort of issues with my roof.
We have a crawlspace attic. In 1996, we had a new roof put on (second layer of shingles on one side; brand new plywood and a single layer of shingles on the other). As part of the roofing, we had a ridge vent put on, and the roofers said that they made sure the soffet vents in the attic were clear. But we get icicles every year, and our house is always the first one to have no snow on its roof.
What's wrong, and what are some simple (and cheap!) ways to remedy this?
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trader-of-some-jacks wrote:

attic(over the ceiling) the heat then goes to the roof and melts the snow and then the melted snow(water) flows down to the fascia boards and it does not have the heat anymore and freezes... you need more insulation in the attic over the ceiling to keep the heat inside your house....
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Possibly add venting, if the attic is unheated. That way what heat gets into the attic won't melt snow.
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"trader-of-some-jacks" wrote in message

To add to what jim already said about more insulation. Make _sure_ the roofers cut open the ridge before installing ridge vent, you would be surprised with how many short cut the installation and just through the vent up there with no opening. You will also want to double check on the soffit vents being clear before and after adding insulation.
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through the roof???
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"PhotoMan" wrote in message

ya, spelling error. Suppose to be _throw_ the vent up there with no opening. Glad you're around, to catch my errors :o)
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If your venting is good (have you actually looked up there, or are you believing the roofers, who may or may not have done the things they claim), then your problem is
1) You like the house real warm 2) You don't have enough insulation.
I would guess the latter. I had a house with ZERO icicles, and approx 6" of attic insulation, shitty ventilation, and temperatures as you describe, in Buffalo, where one sometimes has over a foot of snow on the roof. I kept the house at 67 degrees. Other "identical" houses had life-threatening icicles. Add some insulation (and check the vents). If you add insulation, be sure you have baffles to permit your soffit venting to work.

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Do all the roofs face in the same direction? The sun and wind can have a great deal to do with snow retention & icicle formation.
If a roof facing in the same direction as yours has more snow and less icicles, then that roof is losing less heat through it than yours. Maybe you need more insulation, or maybe you need to turn your heat down below 95 degrees. Or maybe that roof is better ventilated?
But if that neighbor's roof has no snow on it, then *they* are the ones who need to insulate or turn their heat down. Or they have a tin roof & the snow slides off.
Watch your roof after a snow and see how the melting pattern is. It should point out to you where you are losing heat. [if that is indeed the problem-- it has been a 'good year' for icicles in my neck of the woods-- lots of snow, a little rain, then super cold.]
Jim
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Yep, insulation and ventilation. You can't have too much ventilation(ridge-vent is excellent, _with_ properly working soffit vents). Make sure the insulation isn't covering the soffit vents again, and maybe add more insulation? Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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Do all the houses have the same roof orientation? Snow on roofs that face the south disappear long before snow on the north. Second, do you have a gas heater and where does the combustion and other air for the furnace come from? If you have a vent in the ceiling for air, you are simply pouring warm air into the attic. Does the flue get warm and provide more warmth to the attic? Do you have sunken light in the ceiling? You need to look at all potential source of heat and which side of the roof they are on. My roof on the north side shows bare spots associated with the furnace that did not appear until we switched from electric to a gas furnace, no change in the attic insulation. But you may just have poorly insulated ceilings. You should have 12-15 inches of insulation as a minimum. Blow in insulation will crush from 12 inches to 1 inch and not recover, so if someone bounces around up there you need to add more insulation.
trader-of-some-jacks wrote:

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Or, maybe God just wants your house to the the prettiest-looking one on the block ;)
AJS
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wrote:

you attic is warm as long as your roof is close to the same temp as outside. Air enters at the soffits, circulates up the roof and exits either at the gable vent or at the ridge vent if you have one.
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Everyone is focusing on insulation and ventilation. What about the color of the shingles? A black roof will clear off before a brown or gray roof. Do you have a black roof? Does everybody else have light colored roofs?
-- Mike D.
www.stopassaultnow.org
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On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 07:27:12 -0600, "Mike Dobony"

Thanks Mike, and everyone else who has responded. Sorry I've been off the internet for a few days this week.
Anyway, addressing a few points that people have mentioned:
1. Our shingles are grey, and far visibly lighter in color than most of the roofs in our neighborhood.
2. We set our thermostat in November and then don't touch it until May. The temperature in the house is a constant 67-68 degrees. We have a digital thermometer upstairs confirming this. So a "too hot" house isn't the issue.
3. Our attic does have insulation in it. Getting into the attic is such a pain that I've not been there for seven years! It's a crawlspace, and the only point of entry is via a small hole in a closet ceiling. Gaining access to the hole essentially requires emptying the closet. But the attic has insulation rolled into it enough to make a smooth surface between the floor joists, but no higher. Our house was built around 1977 and wasn't anything fancy, so whatever was considered standard practice for insulation in middle class homes in the late 1970s is probably what we have.
4. As my original post mentioned, we do have soffeting all the way aound the attic and gable vents at either side (ours is a colonial home with about 1000 sq feet of attic space). The roofers installed a ridge vent in 1996. They showed me the vent, and were in the attic removing rotted plywood on the front (east-facing) half of the roof and completely replacing that plywood. Did I SEE them put the ridge vent in and did I SEE that they cut out the roof for it? No. But given that they showed me the vent, and that they were cutting plywood (I saw and heard the cutting), I'm pretty comfortable saying that was done right.
My guesses are that my problem is too little insulation, or blocked soffets (but how likely is it that ALL soffets are blocked?). Maybe both.
How much can I expect to pay to remedy this/these?
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Do you have a bathroom fan venting directly into the attic, if so then heat is going into the attic, heating the roof, melting snow and water is flowing down and then freezing.

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wrote:

Thanks! That's the first time I've thought about this. BUT...
(1) The two bathrooms venting into the attic have shower steam in them probably less than an hour a day.
(2) The attic IS ventilated anyway (well, somewhat...). Would an hour of 120 degree air vented into the attic have THAT much effect on things? And why would it affect only my house and not the nearly-identical houses of my neighbors?
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Venting into the attic is a bad idea in any case. Extra humidity can lead to rot and mold. Your posts suggests an over all condition, rather than a point source of heat. Tom Baker
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On 30 Jan 2004 15:41:04 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (Tom Baker) wrote:

Ugh, I feel pretty stupid. We used a "pay me in cash" cheapo contractor to put in one of our two bathroom ceiling fans. From research I've done, I guess the RIGHT thing is to have the fan vent into ducting that goes to the outside of the house through the attic, correct?
Just so I know what I'm looking at, how much should I expect to spend for more insulation and/or proper venting of at least one, possibly two bathroom fans?
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A couple of more suggestions. Make sure the ductwork is insulated, and does not have any droops or low spots in it. It should come up through the ceiling and then a gradual slope to the outside. I have seen 4" uninsulated ductwork 3/4 full of ice. You can imagine what happens when a 3" X 5' piece of ice melts in the attic. One more thing, just because the fan is not on doesn't mean there is no warm air entering the attic. Remember warm air rises and over the length of a day that tiny bit of warm will constantly enter the attic.

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