The shimmer that comes from icicles hanging off the eaves of a house is incredibly beautiful. Gingerbread houses are adorned with icicles and some of us even have holiday lights in their likeness.  It is well established that icicles on our roofs are a sight to be seen.  But don’t let them fool you there are several not so pretty sides to icicles.

icicles on roof london ontario

If you can see icicles you know ice dams are not far behind

Ice Dams

In fact, icicles can wreak havoc on your home in many ways. Icicles are the predecessor to Ice dams and that is when the real trouble starts. Ice Dams form in the same way as icicles but fill the eaves and create pools of water that sit on the shingles of the house. If we can see icicles we know ice dams are not far behind or even exist already.

Insulation and Ventilation

Ice dams occur when eaves become filled with snow which melts then creating a ice dam. This occurs because warmth collects in an attic resulting the roof also being warmed but not the eaves. There are 2 factors that cause this. Lack of insulation in your attic which OBC requires R50 in your attic. Also not having proper soffit ventilation. The ratio to soffit and roof ventilation is soffit 45% to roof 55%. you need a intake and a outtake for continuous air flow. So snow than melts on the roof because it is warm but then freezes on the eaves and shingles because they are cold. Once a dam is formed. Water then has nowhere to flow and so it backs up behind the eaves and your shingles. With puddles of water sitting on the house, some of it is likely to flow under the shingles or find other ways into the house.

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Avoid Serious Damage

On the exterior icicles and ice dams can result in eavestrough being pulled off, shingles can be loosened. Multiple types of damage can occur to the roof by removing them incorrectly. Pooled water needs somewhere to go so it heads for the interior of the house sometimes beginning with the attic. Wet insulation over time results in mildew and mold. Even worse, the water can make its way into the interior seeping into damaged walls, ceilings, and other structural areas. When this happens paint peels floors warp, ceilings stain. Leaks making it all the way into the interior can result in damage to anything in our living areas, carpet, furniture, and valuable possessions.

So next time you see icicles on your house while you can still admire their beauty but only briefly. Don’t take any chances icicles are not a friend to your roof or your home. Remove them with a roof rake after having read instructions or get them removed professionally by us. Ask us how they can be avoided in the first place. Don’t take any chances. Icicles are pretty but they can do some ugly things.

Rod Podkin

Author Rod Podkin

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