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Icicles and Ice Dams: A Dangerous Sign of Energy Loss

 In HVAC, Info, Tips

Winter weather brings icicles — not only on your Christmas tree — but outside hanging from rooftops above. In addition to being dangerous to those below, icicles can also alert you to energy loss in your attic and subsequent structural damage

Icicles and ice dams are caused when heat escapes through the roof and melts the bottom layer of snow. The water runs downward and forms ice dams at the colder roof edge and creates icicles. The water remaining backs up on the roof and could be forced under the shingles and into the walls and ceilings of your home.

And that could mean possible costly structural decay, rot, mold, and mildew.

What to do now:

  1. Rake as much snow off your roof as you can from the ground using a long-handled roof rake. Use extreme caution. Do not climb on ladders or climb onto your roof to hack or chip away at the ice.
  2. Remove the icicles that you can. Do not stand beneath them as chunks of falling ice can cause serious injuries and damage.
  3. Considering hiring a professional if necessary.

TIP: To prevent ice formation, turn on an attic fan and aim the airflow where the gutter and roof meet. If you are experiencing leaking, aim it at the leak. This flow of air works to stop the ice formation and subsequently, the leak into your home.

What to do later:

  1. Find and stop air leaking through recessed lights, access doors, electric boxes, heating vents, etc.
  2. Properly insulate your attic.
  3. Regularly clean off the roof during the next snowstorm to prevent snow build-up.

This will help you save energy, reduce your utility costs, and improve the safety and home comfort of your family.

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