During the winter, icicles can be a beautiful site. It is fun to see icicles hanging from the home. Small icicles hanging from the gutter are perfectly harmless and are not usually an issue, but when large icicles begin to form, then you know you have a problem.
When you start to see large icicles, chances are you have what is known as an ice dam. An ice dam occurs when there are a lot of snow storms that cause snow to build up on top of the roof and in the eavestrough. Poor attic insulation causes the warm air from the home to heat up the snow and melt it. The cold temperatures outside will then freeze the melted snow into ice. This creates an ice dam which clogs the eavestrough and prevents the melting snow from running off the roof correctly.
Signs of an Ice Dam
1. Water Dripping off the Roof. Water should run down through the eavestrough. The water should not be spilling over the side of the roof. When this is happening, chances are that an ice dam has formed.
2. Large Icicles. As previously mentioned, large icicles will begin to form from the eavestrough. These can become extremely large and begin to pull down the eavestrough and cause major structural damage to the home. They can also be dangerous if they fall, as they could easily injure somebody.
3. Inside Leaking. Often times, an ice dam will cause water to build up on the roof. It will begin to seep in through the roof and into the home. If you see water starting to leak into the home, an ice dam may be the culprit.
How to Fix an Ice Dam
1. Remove Icicles and Roof Snow. For immediate relief, you can use a shovel or a rake to remove the large icicles. You will also want to use a rake to remove all of the snow that is built up over the ice dam. This will give the dam a better chance of melting. This will temporarily provide assistance for the eavestrough and the roof; it does not cure the problem.
2. Improve Attic Insulation. By increasing the insulation that is in your attic, you will prevent ice dams. The heat from the inside of the home will not be able to melt the snow and trap it under the other snow. The snow will instead melt gradually from the top and will run off of the roof correctly.
An ice dam can be catastrophic to your eavestrough and your roof. It is important to make sure that the proper precautions are taken to make sure that ice dams do not form. If you run into issues, get ahold of a contractor, such as First Choice Siding Ltd.