Throughout the winter months, you may notice beautiful icicles cascading down around the perimeter of your roof. These icicles capture the sunlight, and their stunning appearance can brighten even the dreariest winter days. As gorgeous as icicles can be, however, they also can be very damaging to your home. When you learn more about the dangers that icicles pose to your property’s overall condition, you will see why you need to take steps to prevent icicles from forming or to remove them when you notice them.
The Creation of Ice Dams
Icicles develop when the temperature on your roof rises above the freezing mark. This may be because of sunlight exposure, or the internal heat of the home. While the water from snow and ice melt may run down the roof, the frigid temperature causes icicles to form as the water drops downward. When snow or ice melt and re-freeze, there is a potential for ice dams to form, and this includes along the perimeter of your roof where icicles have formed. An ice dam occurs when melted water pools up behind an area of snow or ice.
Why Ice Dams Are Detrimental
Your roof is impermeable to water (water proof) , so having a small pool of water sitting on the roof may not seem like a big deal. However, the lay of the shingles makes the roof water proof to water that is flowing downward. When water sits in a pool, it can creep back up underneath the shingles. This eventually may cause a roof leak. When water penetrates into your home, water damage and mold growth are serious possibilities that could be detrimental to the condition of your home. As you can see, while icicles are beautiful, they can also be a warning sign that ice dams may be developing on your roof.
What You Can Do About It
Before there is a problem: Remember that your attic’s temperature can also play a role in how evenly the snow melts on the roof. Adding evenly dispersed insulation to your attic can reduce the risk of ice dams from forming. Proper roof ventilation is also very important. Before winter weather conditions arrive, give us a call. We will give you a free inspection of your roof, roof ventilation, and attic insulation to be sure you are not at high risk for winter damage. There is still time to correct issues, and the fixes will be more cost effective in the long run (vs fixing damage).
If you see heavy icicle build up: Your first impulse may be to simply break the icicles off of the roof, but this can actually increase damage to your eaves and roof. A better idea is to use a rake to pull the ice and snow that has backed up behind the icicles off of the roof if you can reach the roof safely. If not, call a professional to remove snow and ice from the roof periodically throughout the winter.
During the winter months, our team can remove ice and look for potentially damaging ice dams that may be forming. Through these steps, you can keep your home as safe as possible from the damaging effects of icicles and ice dams throughout the winter.