Icicles On Your House, Friend or Foe


Icicles may be nice to look at –

but that is where their appeal ends.


Icicles may be nice to look at but that is where their appeal ends.

A couple of decades ago pretty icicle lights were introduced and quickly became a favorite decoration for homes during the Christmas season.

They were, no doubt, inspired by the look of actual icicles hanging from home roofs and gutters during the winter season.

For many this is a beautiful sight, but for homeowners this usually means that something is wrong. Icicles hanging from your gutter or roof may be pleasing to the eye but the damage to you home could be costly.

When I see hanging icicles one of my first concerns is, about ‘what happens if/when those icicles fall’. Who will be walking under the falling pointed ice daggers? Not to mention the damage being done to the gutter system and the potential for pieces of your gutter to be torn off the house completely.

And we cannot forget the underlying harm potentially being done not only to your roof but interior as well.
There are ways to lessen the likelihood that these non-ornamental icicles will form around your home. The first place to look would be at your gutters themselves.
Are they clogged and need to be cleaned? Clogged gutters will prevent proper drainage as the snow melts creating the overhang of potentially damaging icicles. You can start by making sure your gutters are clear. Another option is installing a heat line with a dedicated switch that provides just enough heat to prevent icicles from forming.

However, the real problem may lie in your roof, or more accurately under you roof. Improper ventilation and/or insulation in your attic may cause excessive heat to escape from your roof, prematurely and quickly melting snow.
As the wet snow falls off the roof it hits the edges of the roof and/or gutter system which is considerably colder and the water immediately begins to freeze again creating ice dams on the roof and growing into icicles.
Under these ice dams, not only are the shingles on the roof being damaged and potentially loosening but the melting ice can drip into your home damaging insulation and interior walls. 

Here at White’s General Contracting we have your roof and all your roof questions covered. We can access your roof and help determine how to best address the ice dams and icicles adorning your home.

Call us today and let us help you keep you roof system as healthy as possible through this winter weather, and all year long.