Icicles add to the beauty and charm of Buffalo’s winters. Yet, as attractive as they may be, they’re also a sign that something’s wrong in your home. Icicles are often a result of ice dams, which in turn are caused by poor insulation and ventilation inside your home. Not only that, but icicles aren’t as pretty when they’re falling to the ground, potentially hurting something or someone.
How do icicles form?
When a typical lake effect storm rolls in, you’ll find quite a bit of snow on top of your roof. Whether from the sun or the heat rising from your attic, that snow will eventually melt. The water will then run down to your gutters and refreeze. When this water refreezes, icicles and ice dams form along your gutters and rooftop.
Why is this serious?
Icicles and ice dams are a sign that you have poor insulation and ventilation inside of your home. Ideally, you should have enough insulation to keep your roof cold and your attic warm. If you don’t, that warm air will escape and melt the snow on your roof, resulting in icicles and ice dams. Those ice dams can then cause water to back up in your gutters and leak into your roof or side walls. The icicles could also fall down onto cars, animals, or people below.
Preventing icicles and ice dams
The best way to fix icicles and ice dams is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Here are a few ways of doing so:
- Improve the insulation in your home
- Remove any snow build-up as soon as possible
- Keep your attic well-ventilated
Fixing icicles and ice dams
If you already have icicles and ice dams forming on your home, then it’s time to take swift action. Keep in mind that the following solutions are only for the short term; to truly fix icicles and ice dams, you must prevent them with the methods mentioned above.
- Blow cold air into the spot where water is leaking
- Rake the snow off of your roof
- Use a calcium chloride ice melter on the icicles and ice dam