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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Icicles and open eaves

    Hello,
    My house is an 1855 gable front house and accumulates lots of icicles. It has been professionally insulated. It has open eaves and is therefore the eaves are not ventilated. There are roof vents. I was wondering if anyone knew how to reduce the amount of icicles I have. I don't want to close the eaves in order to ventilate, as I am in a historic district and I want to leave that feature.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Icicles and open eaves

    Small round vents are commonly installed in the blocking between exposed rafter tails. If you don't like the look of the vents I suppose boards could be fit between the rafters a couple inches out from the vents to screen the view without blocking airflow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,128

    Default Re: Icicles and open eaves

    While soffit and ridge venting is about ideal, as long as an attic is being adequately ventilated that's what matters most. And your open soffit (as far as it goes) is as well ventilated as possible with everything totally open there! It's what's going on past the exterior walls that affects attic ventilation, and I can't see that anything you do in that regard will affect the formation of icicles on the open sections outside.

    If you want better ventilation in the attic there are several ways to go about that- the screening between rafters and drilled vents already mentioned being the most common and easiest. I've seen this area louvered, slotted, with ventilated vinyl soffit fitted (UGH-lee), and with 4X12 aluminum vents usually seen under soffits (UGH-lee-2). I like the louvers but that isn't an easy job without having a good wood-shop for the custom fabrication, so the slots get my vote as the best compromise between performance, aesthetics, and ease of creating.

    You may be able to get in there with a small plunge-router directly or you may need to remove the siding in each area and slot it where you can do that without something getting in the way. Make the slots as wide as you can without leaving the wood too thin in between- something like 1/2" to 3/4" for slots and dividers looks pretty good and will last. Prime and paint the raw wood you're exposing, then screen the back to keep bugs out. If the slots look too dark, paint the screen to match the house. Not as much ventilation as a full soffit vent but probably enough to work well.

    If the icicles present a safety hazard, cut or break them off. Since they haven't hurt the house in over 100 winters, I'm inclined to think they're not going to do it any harm now. And from a Southerner's point of view, I like the way they look (but NOT the winter weather that causes them!)

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Icicles and open eaves

    Quote Originally Posted by albireo214 View Post
    Hello,
    My house is an 1855 gable front house and accumulates lots of icicles. It has been professionally insulated. It has open eaves and is therefore the eaves are not ventilated. There are roof vents. I was wondering if anyone knew how to reduce the amount of icicles I have. I don't want to close the eaves in order to ventilate, as I am in a historic district and I want to leave that feature.
    Thanks!

    Hi, You have to make a choice of what you want to do to fix the problem. You can stop the ice or stop the ice and lower your heating bill. If all you want to do is stop the ice, then you can vent the escaped heat to the outside. If you want to stop the ice and lower your heating bill, you have to stop the heat from escaping to the attic. There are a couple ways to do this. Thanks

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