Icicles on my Eaves 3 Reasons Why?

February 10, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.

Icicles are hanging off my eaves and although they look pretty in the winter months, they also can be dangerous.

This winter, the North East of the USA, has received a lot of snow and very cold temperatures and that can be the formula for icicles forming on the eaves of many homes. The icicles can be the results of many things. This Roofing Blog will try to identify the most common reasons why icicles form.

What causes icicles to form?

  1. Melting snow. The snow on the roof melts and flows to the edge of the roof then re-freezes as it drips off the roof forming sometimes very large icicles and ice dams. This snow melts because of heat entering the attic space from the living area of your home, heats up the roof deck enough to melt the snow into water. This melting snow will after it gets to the edge of the roof re-freeze. A check of the thickness of insulation may find you need more.
  2. Poor Ventilation. When warm air meets cold air condensation forms on the underside of the roof deck so much it flows downwards and exits at the eaves and then re-freezes into icicles or enters the home near the ceiling and outside walls. Having good airflow from intake vents at the eaves and good exhaust vents near the top of the roof help move the air and reduce condensation in the attic.
  3. Improper dryer vent. Having a dryer vent exit into the attic and not to the outside can cause a lot of heat in an area that will melt snow very quickly then re-freeze. This goes the same for any heat source, like gas water heaters and can lights. Air movement will help from condensation and heat melting the snow.

Having a licensed contractor do an inspection of the areas may just solve the problem.


Have a question? AskARoofer HERE

Need a contractor?  Check out our list of Roofing Contractors HERE.



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