Waking up to icicles hanging from your roof in the wintertime provides a picturesque winter setting. Unfortunately, they’re also a sign of other issues in your roof, such as ice dams, which cause water damage in your home.
Can Icicles and Ice Dams Damage Your Home
What Is an Ice Dam?
Icicles hanging from your gutters are the type that is cause for concern. Improper ventilation and inadequate insulation in your soffits and roof cause heated air to escape, melting the snow on your roof. As the melting snow hits the cold surface of the gutter, it freezes, causing the development of an ice dam.
How Do Ice Dams and Icicles Damage Your Home?
If the temperature doesn’t warm up, then there’s no heat to melt the icicles. As a result, ice dams can grow to enormous sizes, causing damage to your roof and gutters. The ice can get under the roof shingles, where it meets warm air and melts, causing leaks that create extensive damage. The icicles and ice dams can get so large, the weight of all the ice rips the gutters off of your roof.
How Can You Prevent Ice Dams from Forming?
Reduce the risk of ice dams and icicles forming on your roof by calling a professional contractor to inspect the insulation. The contractor knows what they’re looking for during the assessment, and they’ll tell you if you need to add insulation, and in what areas of the roof. Using heat tape on the edge of your roof and the inside of your gutters helps prevent the formation of icicles and ice dams. Heat tape contains an electrical wire that warms the surface of the gutter, allowing excess water to run off before it freezes.
You’ll also need the assistance of a qualified professional when installing heat tape on your gutters as well.
Tips for Protecting Your Home Against Icicles and Ice Dams
Avoid hitting the icicles with a hammer to knock them off. The impact might cause your gutters to tear off the roof when the icicle falls. Avoid icicles by making your roof colder. Ensure that your insulation is sufficient to stop heat from entering the roof rafters. Insulate all crevices where heat might escape, and prevent hot spots from forming on your roof.
If you live in a region of the US that experiences heavy snowfalls, use a snow rake to keep snow off of your roof. Avoid climbing on your roof, as a fall will likely result in severe injury.
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