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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
New member
Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 9
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 06, 2009 - 10:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmm. I don't think there is a way to insulate the attic floor then. Unfortunately, the roof line extends from the attic, over parts of the second floor, and in some places it wraps down over part of the first floor too. And the turret is the staircase from the first to second floor, with the roof wrapping around it. Any heat in the house is going to pose problems there. Really neat design, but an insulation challenge! My mom's house is starting to sound like small potatoes!

Fortunately, I've found at least three of your members that aren't too far away. So one of you guys gets to help me figure this all out! John and Liam--thank you SO much for all the suggestions.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Username: Old_school

Post Number: 233
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 06, 2009 - 09:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just as I thought. I am sure that the old owners installed the insulation between the rafters, probably in the early 70's when the first energy "crisis" hit. Remove the insulation from between the rafters in the attic area. It is not doing any good anyway. You can leave the isulation on the floor as long as it is not hitting the bottom of the roof at the intersection of the roof and the floor. If there is any ventilation in the attic, make sure it is open and the air is getting into the attic space. You want the attic to be "cold" Try and keep the heat downstairs in the living space. If the second floor is not used very much, just turn the thermostat down a bit on the second floor. If there is a window in the attic, leave it open summer AND winter. A screen or a louver would be a good thing. You want the house to breathe. I wish I could go and help you, but we are trying to get qualified people in all areas to handle just such things as your home. Keep at it, you are doing us proud.
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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
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Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 8
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 06, 2009 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cricket...I had to google that one! I used google satellite photos, and it turns out that there is one there. cricket--left side
You can just barely see it on the two sides. Perhaps the angle is too low for it to be effective, or I have some leaks in the copper. cricket--right side Based on conversations with the neighbors, I think the copper work was done in the late 80's/early 90's. I'm going to have to get someone up there to check it out--thanks for the suggestion.

As far as the insulation...hmmm. I didn't realize that if the insulation on the attic floor even touches the roof deck it will transfer the heat up. Someone has put insulation in the attic rafters, as well as on the attic floor, so we were going to remove it from the rafters and just insulate the floor better.

Old School--I want to make sure I understand your suggestion. Are you proposing that we remove ALL the insulation (from the attic floor too)? I'm on board with the cold roof concept, but that would be a cold house concept! :) Maybe I could reduce the ceiling heights somewhat and install insulation (and then another ceiling) on the second floor (and just try to keep all heat away from the roof). I'm going to have to do some more brainstorming.

You guys are wonderful--I really appreciate you taking the time to answer homeowners questions.
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 473
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, September 06, 2009 - 07:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would use heat tape last and look into the venting and insulation first. Even do the flashing restoration around the turret, maybe adding a bigger flashing pcs. But, like Old Sclooh said venting is important. As far as Dawn's Solar Solutions it may be a way to help with the iceing and I have suggested this with a client over a green house roof , but in a standing seam roof. They didn't go with it. In you perdicament I would suggest you do the the other stuff first. The area isn't that open and may make more problems.

If you framed in a cricket or something to help get the water and snow out quicker may be a quicker and easier way to do it.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Username: Old_school

Post Number: 229
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Saturday, September 05, 2009 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The fact that te snow is melting and then re-freezing to make the ice dams is proof that you have heat escaping already. Be careful of how you insulate because mostly it is a ventiltion problem and not so much a insulation one. If the insulation is touching the bottom of the roof deck it will transfer the heat up to the roof and cause the melting. I would almost bet that the original design didn't have much ice buildup until insulation was added. Thus the problem. You may want to remove some of the insulation so that the air can move and that may abate some of the buildup. It is going to be expensve to install and operate the ice cables and a bit of heating bill would be less than all of that. something to think about!
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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
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Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 7
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Saturday, September 05, 2009 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi guys! Thanks for writing back and for all the suggestions! This site, your association, and each of the craftsmen on here are a godsend! My mom is thrilled to hear that you think her slate is in good shape! She's beaming!

Slate man--I'm guessing that there are copper flashings under the slate on the sides of the dormers too. Is that correct? (The Slate Bible is being shipped, but not here yet!) Also, since the galvanized ridgecap was added over the slate ridge (I'm guessing someone did that in the 1950's or 60's), does that mean that my mom would have to replace all the slate on the ridgecap too (holes in it from the nails used to hold down the galvanized metal?) Or, could she reuse the slate ridgecap with 20 gauge copper underneath of it?

Also, do you guys have any suggestions about the ice damming on my turret? Because of the house design, there are ice dams not only around the front of the turret and on the front porch, but also around the backside and top of the turret too. The ice dams on the backside go most of the way to the ridgeline because of how the two gables intersect with the turret right in the center (too high to get a picture of it, but there is a lot of copper flashing laid in sheets up there). I had been thinking of heat tapes, and talked with several local contractors about how to do it (separate electric lines, etc.), but I saw Joe's posting on the thread about ice dams. He mentioned that you can drill a hold in each slate for a hook and then string the heat tape on that. Yikes--I don't want to drill holes in my slate, and I'm thinking that given all the places where the ice is, I'd have to have tapes all over the entire roof surrounding the turret.

(I should mention that my mom and I have a fall project planned of redoing all the insulation to try to minimize heat loss up to the roof, BUT most of the turret is a staircase, and since heat rises (especially in a staircase!) insulation alone is not going to solve this problem.)

So, I was wondering if you guys have any great suggestions. I also saw (I think it was Walter's) suggestion of Dawn's Solar Solutions for solar heating panels UNDER the slate. (Brilliant--because I was brainstorming about how I could capture and reuse all of that solar heat!) I was wondering if you know of any heating systems for ice dams though that could heat the slate (and melt the ice) from the inside too?
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
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Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 470
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, September 05, 2009 - 06:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Looks like you need someone to do a real copper flashing restoration in some of the areas, not a tar job. You even have slate on the dormers that have been paint white. Most likely the cap was put on because back in the day it was typical not to install a slate ridge with hide copper flashing. Most mitered hip you find this too, to be the case.
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Old_school (Old_school)
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Username: Old_school

Post Number: 228
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man, that house is beautiful! Tell that "roofer" to take a flying leap! He sounds like he should take a 8 foot jump over a 12 foot ditch. The fact that those roofs could be about 80 to 100 years old and still look that good should tell you something about slate. The shingles he wants to put on will be looking like dog doo in about 15 years and you will be further behind than you are now.

We are trying to police ourselves and there are more getting on our bandwagon every day. Hang in there!
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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
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Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 6
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok, let me try this again...

Here is the photo of the ridgecap from my mom's house.ridgecap--is that a layer of slate ridgecap under the galvanized metal?

Here is a photo of the valleys on the top and side of the dormers.valleys on top and sides of dormers

Here is a photo of my turret and front porch with the extensive ice damming. There has already been one extensive repair (which doesn't show up well in the photo) easily evidence by the fact that they used completely different colors of slate (green and red), and not the gray and brown that is on the rest of the roof. The slate specialist suggested I tear off my whole slate roof for this reason.Turret and front porch with lots of ice damming
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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
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Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 5
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 09:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Joe--Deborah from Youngstown here. My mom who is retired is "heylady" and she found you guys. I'm so glad she did!

She moved to Youngstown to be near me and bought a 1917 Colonial two years ago. I bought a 1925 French Eclectic out of foreclosure about a year ago (so I have no knowledge of repair history).

The "slate specialist" wanted to use rubber and screws on her roof (there are some visible nails). Nails and lots of tar...

He also told me that I should probably rip off my slate in upcoming years and put on asphalt shingles with water guard to stop the extensive ice damming and leaking problems around the turret and front porch. This was the start of our suspicion that he was not a slate specialist.

I'm guessing that the stuff around the chimney flashing at the back of my house is that injectable rubber stuff. Rubber stuff around chimney flashing I also tried to get some photos of the valleys around the top and sides of the dormers.

Having a zoom camera is better than real life! After we uploaded the photos, my mom and I were surprised to see what looks like a hidden layer of ridge cap slate underneath the galvanized ridge cap.

I think our roofs look better than some of the other photos I've seen posted, but we are having a lot of problems with leaking and I suspect that many of the flashings have failed on both houses.

I have more photos, but I must be doing something wrong because I get a continual error message....I'll try loading them in another message.
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 227
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Where do these idiots come from? Roofers that haven't a clue!
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Joe (Joe)
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Username: Joe

Post Number: 436
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

heylady - can you post a photo of the roof?
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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
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Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi guys,
Thanks SO much for replying. I'm glad to hear that I was right not to hire him. What is unfortunate is that this man is the recognized "slate specialist" that works on houses in the historic districts in our city. His name is circulated amongst all the homeowners interested in historic preservation. I am SO GLAD to have found this website and this wonderful group of craftsmen. I am ordering the Slate Bible within in the next 10 minutes and I'm going on a campaign to educate all the homeowners in the historic districts.

I did look in the directory but many of the contractors are based in cities (Cincinnati or Cleveland) and post a travel radius. John, I will certainly give you a call. It looks like you are only about an hour away!
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John_chan (John_chan)
Member
Username: John_chan

Post Number: 28
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 09:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We do work in the Youngstown area. You can look us up at www.durableslate.com or call us at 800-666-7445.
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Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 469
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 06:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Look in the SRCA listing to the left, there to find someone in your area.
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Walter_musson (Walter_musson)
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 169
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 04:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Keep looking for a better roofer who has had more experience with slate and flashing repairs .
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Heylady9189 (Heylady9189)
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Username: Heylady9189

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 01:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello everyone,
I bought a historic home that has a slate roof, and unfortunately, failed flashings around dormers and chimneys and many layers of bad tar patches. Several roofers have claimed to be able to do slate. One tarred over old tar (didn't work! tar cracked and leaking started again) and another told us that we don't need to replace the flashings, but just clean the valley and inject it with rubber. This does not sound right to me as I think the only way to fix this is to remove the slate and install new flashing. He quoted me $1400 to repair each dormer. I hate to question or challenge professionals because it seems rude, but I do not agree with this method of fixing my roof, and I don't like this price especially when the flashing isn't being replaced. I would like advice on whether this is a good method of repairing the valleys or if my intuition is right. (Also, he wants to remove some nails that have popped up in the roof and replace them with screws. This also makes me uncomfortable, because from what I have read, this would pose problems for removing and repairing individual slates in the future. Is this a new reliable method, or should I trust my intuition that this is incorrect?) This poor roof (and the whole house) has been mistreated over the years in poor repair jobs (or the lack of any repairs) and I don't want to hire someone who isn't going to do it right. Thanks for all the advice.

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