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Why Do Icicles Form on Your House?

With all the warm weather in December, were you looking forward to the snow – especially if you live in the North and are accustomed to the white fluffy stuff and a few icicles? Inevitably, colder temperatures and snow bring with them a new set of problems. Instead of combatting the heat and humidity, now, you’re just trying to stay warm and keep heating costs down.In addition, icicles on your home are kind of like the final straw in a peculiar home heating problem. Here’s what happens:

  • Too much heat gathers in the attic.
  • That heat warms the roof, which collides with the cooler outdoor air.
  • When the attic temperature is above freezing, snow on the roof starts to melt.
  • The melting snow makes its way down the roof and into the gutter.
  • However, the gutter isn’t as warm as the attic/roof, so water freezes there.
  • Eventually, icicles form on the side of the gutters

Icicles aren’t cute. In fact, they’re an indication of a pretty big home problem. You see, as the ice in the gutter gathers momentum, it eventually blocks drainage. Essentially, it forms an ice dam. As water continues to make its way down the roof, the ice dam blocks this flow, causing water to basically lay in a pool on the roof. This is an extremely hazardous condition, as the water eventually seeps underneath the shingles, makes its way through the roof and into the home.

So it all starts with a little bit of heat gathering in the attic. And that’s where the resolution to the problem lies. Here’s how to keep heat from building up in the attic:

  • Insulate.
  • Seal air leaks.
  • Ventilate.

For more information about insulating, sealing air leaks and ventilating to combat icicles and ice dams, contact USA Insulation today!

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