Learn from the Roofing Pros – Icicles Should Hang in Trees NOT From Roofs!

While icicles hanging from the gutters of your roof may bring to mind classic images of Christmas time and Winter-wonderlands, they actually can wreak havoc on your roof. Why? The presence of icicles is typically indicative of an ice dam in your roof. An ice dam occurs when ice melts and then refreezes in trapped areas of your roof. It creates an ice and snow buildup along the edge of your roof. This buildup can cause damage to the roof’s structure requiring costly repairs. If you see icicles, it’d be a good idea to get your roof inspected.

The College Station area has been known to encounter a winter storm or two, and a particularly active winter season leaves a lot of homeowners with damaged roofs worth looking into.

Temperature Fluctuations

It doesn’t take a meteorologist to convince us that temperature fluctuations are real and ever-present. The weather has grown largely unpredictable with temperatures warm one day and cold the next. The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts that these temperature fluctuations will continue. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to drop 20-30 degrees over the course of the day, and if you’re one of the many households with ice dams starting to form on your roof, these fluctuations can be devastating.

Ice Dam Formation

The homes most prone to ice dam formation are ones without adequate attic or roof insulation. The warm air slips past the insulation causing the ice and snow on the roof to warm and melt. That water then flows down the roof and into the gutter. Once that water has an opportunity to freeze, it will—causing ice to hang over the roof’s edge, preventing proper drainage. This results in a number of problems including rotting of the roof, leaks, and interior house damage.

What to do

If ice dams are forming on your roof, don’t tackle the problem on your own. Icy roofs are very dangerous to walk on and a licensed Bryan Roofer should be hired to take on the job.

To prevent ice dams from forming, you need to invest in a quality roof made from state-of-the-art materials. Repairs should be made quickly to eliminate the need for future costly damages. Homeowners should also make sure their home is insulated properly to avoid the “attic bypasses” that occur when warm air escapes past the poor insulation and melts the ice and snow on top of the roof. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) advises that each household seal any “attic bypasses”, make sure the attics are properly insulated, regularly check attic ventilation and be sure to clean debris from the gutters before winter weather rolls around.