Icicles From The Roof Are Pretty But Could Be A Bad Thing

The correct term is ice damming and it refers to those pretty icicles hanging from your roof. A charming winter picture post-card they may make, but not such great news when it comes to the cause of those icicles.

ice damming

Large amounts of snow on the roof and temperatures around the freezing mark are the perfect conditions for ice damming. If the air in the attic is above freezing, it warms the roof sheathing and melts the snow above. The melted water runs down to the roof overhang, which is not warmed by the attic but rather, cooled by the outdoor air. If the air and the overhang are below freezing, the water freezes and forms an ice dam. This can cause water to form a small pool which can build up under the edges of the shingles and leak through the underside of the roof, into the attic and potentially the walls and ceilings.

The solution is to identify where air is leaking into the attic; warm air rises into the attic through leaks that might be found around light fixtures or the attic hatch. Identifying additional leaks could be done by having a home energy audit performed by a certified energy auditor, such as Direct Energy.

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8 Responses to “Icicles From The Roof Are Pretty But Could Be A Bad Thing”

  1. Cristina says:

    Do you know a reputable roofing company which is not that expensive but does a good job.

    Thank you.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Cristina,

      You should check out Homestars.com where you will find ratings and comments for roofers out there. That would be your best source to find a reputable company.


  2. Donna Kiernander says:

    How much does an Audit cost?

  3. Bonnie says:

    Hi Dave

    My Ice is over the garage area and has caused the same issue that you are speaking about.
    Is there something I should be doing to the garage to stop the heat from my car I assume from doing this?

    • Dave says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      I don’t think your car would create enough heat to cause this but I could be worng. Direct Energy doesn’t look after roofs so I would suggest speaking to a company that specilizes in roofs. A great place to look is Homestars.com.


    • Dave says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      This is a tough one to answer. First of all, you should never run your car in your garage. Bring it in and turn it off, start it up and drive it out, that’s it. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a major concern when cars are left running indoors. your issue could be with blocked eaves, inadequate insulation, warm air escaping where it shouldn’t, and a host of other problems. Without seeing it I cant give you a concrete answer so it might be best to have someone in to take a look,

      • Bonnie says:

        Hi Dave

        Thank you for your reply and your right about not running the car in the garage but I do just put it in the garage and out for that reason.
        Just found the eaves trough is full of ice.

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