View Full Version : Suggestions for COMPETENT companies for insulation/ventilation work

02-04-2010, 10:10 AM
I need some work done in regards to my insulation/ventilation work in my home (cathedral ceilings). I seem to have no luck with hiring competent workers for home repairs... anyone have some personal recommendations with regards to companies that have a clue as to what they are doing with home repairs??

mr ed
02-04-2010, 02:30 PM
There's plenty of competent people in the Sault, cathedrals have always been a challenge depending on the construction/framing. People also refer to several configurations as cathedral. Do you mean your ceilings begin at the 8ft (aprox) to a peak with drywall fastened to the rafters/strapping or do you mean like a story and a half with the ceilings on the half peaked from 4 to 5ft half walls? What problem(s) are you having?

02-07-2010, 09:29 PM
My roof starts at 8 feet in the third level of a four level side split. Just got a new shingle roof this summer (used to have a metal roof and got tired of the avalanches in the spring and it was faded) Getting ice dams on this level and it's leaking in through the window frames when it gets mild. My main wood fireplace chimney runs through this part of the roof. I am thinking it's either ventilation and or insulation issues, which I have read cathedral ceilings especially have this problem. I just want someone who has experience with this issue and can pin point the problem. Like I said, I have had bad experiences with home renos in the past, and don't want to experience this again.. :(

mr ed
02-08-2010, 07:44 AM
I'm not an expert my any means I just used to also do insulation and vapor barrier. It seems to me your already aware of the special circumstances with cathedral ceilings, there's no room for proper ventilation so thats not a solution unless you want to tear everything down and bolster the roof framing making the cavities more roomy for insulation and air above. I assume the fireplace is vented outside so there is no ceiling penetration.
the ice dam forms at the drip edge and builds (quicker if there is eves trough) because this part of the roof is colder than areas above where snow melts Hopefully your roofing contractor laid more than the usual 3 feet of membrane along this area. This will always be like that with cathedrals, you can minimize this conduction by not using recessed fixtures or installing insulated ones and sealing the he11 out of them and using low energy bulbs.Install ceiling fans to keep the heat off the ceilings and use them everytime you use the fireplace. Many people remove the eves trough before winter, and always ensure the roof is clear of any snow.

02-08-2010, 12:45 PM
The chimney penetrates up through the roof where the roof dams are occurring... we do have two ceiling fans going full tilt all the time to try to keep the heat away from the roof. I am doubtful the roofing contractors did anything above and beyond when they did our roof- and despite numerous phone calls they have failed to return to finish the job they were paid to do. In any event, I just want to have someone experienced to be able to trouble shoot and fix the problem RIGHT. Any suggestions to who I should call?? Thanks for your insight... If I had known there would be more of a problem with the shingle roof, I would have left the faded metal roof on.. :(

mr ed
02-08-2010, 02:59 PM
I'm sorry I misread your posting about the chimney penetrating the roof if you didnt have dams with the metal roof then its on the roofers that did the new shingles. I would talk to Barbisan but only because I've used them and never had a problem.

02-08-2010, 04:03 PM
Hi Cher. I have no idea how large a section of roof we're talking about here, but the best solution I have seen for these situations is to build another roof on top of the existing one. Doesn't have to be a whole lot higher - just enough to let cold air circulate and warm air exhaust. The trick is you need to keep that section of roof cold.

Cathedral types are built like a sandwich - drywall, rafters, sheeting, shingles. What insulation there is will be between the rafters. While a roof should have an R value of about 40 these roofs are lower than R15 when you take into account that the rafters themselves have a very low R and there is only a single course of insulation anyway. So your heat is gone out the ceiling and melting the snow on the bottom of the pile on the roof. The water streams down under the snow and when it hits the outside wall it hits the cold and freezes, causing a dam. This then plugs the river coming down so the water coming down finds other places to go - chimney, back up under shingles, etc.

By building a roof on top of the existing one and allowing an air space you're preventing that bottom snow from melting and starting the damming process. Any reputable roofer or framer should be able to do the job, but that's the solution I'd put in if you want the best thing done.

I watched them do this on the building in front of the Legion on 17n on the way to Goulais. Looked like they were doing a very professional job of it.

02-08-2010, 04:40 PM
I had heard of building a new roof on top of the existing roof... it really is unfortunate that this would be the best solution, as I have just spend a wad of money on a new roof..
:( and this particular company didn't return to complete the job (plumbing stacks were to be fixed and didn't seal properly) and walked off with the money. I've been meaning to complain to the Better Business Bureau- which probably won't get me anywhere, but may prevent someone else from getting scammed. So, Barbisan would be a reputable company to call then?? That's going to drain my savings.. :O

mr ed
02-08-2010, 06:13 PM
nocasa is on the money there cher however the ceiling can be bolstered up from the interior that way the money for the new shingled wasn,t waisted. wood can be added to the exposed framing inside, vapour barriered and insulated and redrywalled. Cher I dont know if barbisan does more than just roofing.You need to stick with larger more established contractors/builders with this cathedral.

02-08-2010, 06:30 PM
I appreciate all the advice! The section of roof we are taking about is the majority of my house- a larger section.. :( The metal roof must have been put on originally to try to "fix" this problem. Any recommendations on contractors/builders then??

mr ed
02-08-2010, 08:25 PM
don kennedy construction off the top pf my head should be reasonable, roger thibeault also I cant remember the business name though I'm sorry I'm not involved in residential anymore but these guys workmanship is top notch

03-30-2010, 07:24 PM
Cher, I may be able to assist. Send me a PM and we can discuss. I no longer contract work such as yours but still know how. We have conquered cathedral ceiling problems with some regularity. What one needs recognize is the problems peculiar to this roof style. Oh and by the way no charge for advice.

09-14-2010, 05:56 PM
Roger Thibert did my whole new addition 500 square feet, onto the back of my house, changing my roof line, to add the addition, framing, windows and even cutting into the existing basement, and we expanded it as well under the new addition. Never had a problem with the roof or my basement, and He does do a top notch job. His prices are fair. All in all, my husband and I are quite happy and satisfied with the job he did, and we have seen a winter and spring with no issues.