I purchased a house this summer and am noticing some hot spots on the roof. The old home owner just said they kept the roof shoveled to prevent it from causing ice dams. That is fine and all - but was wondering if any of you might have suggestions on what might be causing it. Seems strange that it is localized directly over a soffit vent. Any ideas? Attached is a picture. Seems like it must be a pretty severe heat loss... But I really have no experience. There is blown in insulation in the attic. Snow melts20 degrees out

  • Shovel the roof? Sounds dangerous....
    – Tyson
    Nov 29 '16 at 16:00
  • @Tyson Not really -- use a roof rake, or tie a safety rope across the peak. I'm more interested in what's in that Amazon box :-) Nov 29 '16 at 18:25
  • Yeah - sorry - meant roof rake. Up here in Maine we call it shoveling the roof. I am just being lazy as there is evidence that the roof has leaked in the past - so I don't really want to have to clean it off every snow storm. I suspect it was from ice dam caused by the hot Spots on roof. It was 20 degrees out when I took those pictures so seems strange. Nov 30 '16 at 0:44
  • Was it 20 degrees out when the snow first melted? It looks like the snow caught up eventually, which suggests a less-than-critical heat loss situation.
    – isherwood
    Nov 30 '16 at 14:52

All homes have variation in heat loss. Yours seems to correspond with the soffit vents. It could just be that the additional airflow in that area leads to more melting in marginally cold weather. It doesn't take much heat to melt snow on a 35 degree day.

It could also be that there's another vent directed through the soffit vent. It's all guesswork until you inspect the attic, but I see no reason to be alarmed.

  • Yeah - there is just minor damage from a past leak and I suspect that is the culprit. I'll go check out the attic and just keep the roof cleaned off so it doesn't dam up. Nov 30 '16 at 0:47
  • The pic attached above was on a 20 degree day. Nov 30 '16 at 0:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.