The past couple days have given us some strange winter weather. In the very recent days it has snowed, rained, wintry mix, back to snow, freezing rain, and then a last gasp of snow.
It seems as though one of winter’s picturesque images is that of icicles dangling from roofs. They twinkle in the sunlight and are an iconic image of winter. Many of us as kids vividly remember breaking off an icicle and licking on it as though it were a Popsicle.
Actually icicles are a visual sign that something is wrong with the insulation and its ability to cut back on Heat Loss.
You know how we have talked about heat loss. As the heat in your home is lost the vast majority of that precious heat ends up in the attic or right under the roof shingles.
- If it snowed last night and the roof is still covered with snow that’s good!
- If it snowed last night and most of the snow has already melted, then that’s not so good!
- If it snowed last night and some of the snow is gone but icicles are hanging off the roof’s edge that definitely is not good!
If there is sufficient insulation in the attic the snow will sit on the roof and only melt as temperatures rise. If there is NOT enough insulation then the space under the roof will be warm enough to melt the snow and then the water runs down to the roof’s edge where there is no longer heat. Once the water hits the cold edge of the roof it freezes and quickly turns into ice and icicles. The ice and icicles will build up and form an “Ice Dam” that allows the melted snow/water to sit on the roof. That water will build up and cause your roof to “leak.”
The roof isn’t really leaking, it is reacting to an Ice Dam and water standing on the roof.
All this is simply caused by not having enough insulation in the attic; that allows heat to escape into the attic and melt the snow from underneath.
Big problem, you should take care of this!