Lack of enough heating capacity can cause a lot of problems in a house, including the accumulation of icicles on the roof. They usually hang around the edges, and to an untrained eye, they may seem like part of house decorations. However, they can be dangerous to the roof structure and the people passing underneath them.
Proper insulation and ventilation on the roof are usually enough to counter icicles. You just have to make sure the systems you have in place are sufficient to prevent their formation on the roof edges.
During winter, snow accumulates on the open roof but naturally melts away when the temperature rises. It gets transported down the drain on the roof to the gutter system. While there, temperatures drop again, causing the melted ice to refreeze. This is a continuous cycle that is caused by insufficient insulation in the house sections near the roof.
If you haven’t installed a good insulation system in the attic, heat will reach the roof and melt the snow. The more this happens, the more icicles form on the gutter and creates an ice dam. Eventually, this cycle strains the roof and causes many other damages.
One of the effects of ice dams is water blockage. Once drainage stops, there will be a lot of pressure on the roof shingles and the eavestroughs. The more heat from the attic continues to melt the snow and the water doesn’t get an outlet, the more it starts to seep under the roofing material and reach the ceiling and walls. If not controlled, ice dams can force you to spend a lot of money on the roof structure and house repairs.
Poor ventilation in the attic is another common cause of ice dam formation. A good ventilation system will ensure hot air reaches a wider section of the roof, which will aid in the drainage of melted ice. There should also be proper sealing of air between the attic and the conditioned space.
Dangers of Having Icicles on the Roof
When icicles form on the edge of the roof, their ends become pointed, making them more dangerous. The longer they remain in that position, the bigger they become. When rattled by wind or loosened by the sun, they can fall on people or property under them. They can pull down the gutters as they fall, land on cars and break windshields, or cause injuries to people standing or passing by.
- Icicles can also cause damages to the roof and house structures
- Decaying or roofing wooden frames on the roof and walls
- Peeling of paint or staining on ceiling and walls
You can avoid these problems by dealing with icicles the moment you spot them. It will be better to spend less money fixing what causes them than risk your life and extensive property damage by ignoring them.
How to Solve Icicles Problems?
Preventing icicles from forming is better than dealing with them after they form. You have to make sure hot air doesn’t leak from the attic to the roof to keep the roof temperature uniform. This will prevent temperature fluctuations, leaving the snow intact and preventing the formation of ice dams. You can also increase the number of times you remove the snow from the roof. It will take a lot of energy and time from you, but it will keep your home safe.
Given life’s challenges and the busy schedules that most people have, it’s impossible to dedicate enough time for snow removal from the roof. Even if you could, it wouldn’t work during winter. Proper ventilation and insulation are, therefore, the most viable solutions. You can hire a good company to install quality HVAC systems that will give you long-lasting benefits and prevent damage to the roof.
You can also consult professionals when buying and installing the systems. Experts from Trades by Jack can give you detailed information and tips that can help you protect your roof from icicles and other dangerous situations.
How to Avoid Icicles Problems in the Future?
Since you can’t control winter or how the season changes, you have to find a way to keep your roof from experiencing the same problems every season, especially when dealing with icicles. A permanent solution will help you enjoy stress-free seasonal changes, knowing your property is well-taken care of.
Try the following tips.
- Invest in good insulation systems and service providers. It helps to have an extra insulation layer, but it should be installed correctly to trap in the moist air and keep the roof cool.
- Have an alternative area for your heating sources. Don’t keep them under the roof or in the attic.
- Take care of entrances to the attic. Use weatherstripping on hatches and keep all doors covered.
- Confirm the direction of your exhausts. For instance, ducts from the bathroom or kitchen should have an outside outlet instead of one that leads to the attic.
- Always make sure the flashing is in great condition. They are susceptible to cracking when they get old, which means they can easily allow hot air into the roof. Get the flashings inspected regularly and replace the damaged ones.
These steps will also help you improve the general condition of your roof.