Are Icicles An Indication Of Improper Pitch On Your Gutters?

It looked like it was going to be a mild Michigan winter this year, but in the last couple of weeks Winter has unleashed her fury… And where there is melting snow on roofs, there are icicles. But do your icicles indicate a problem?

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Frozen Waterfall

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Icicles on a Home

 

As you can see from the above picture, moving water freezes whether it is falling from a steep waterfall or a steep fall off the gutters of a home. Many people worry that the presence of icicles hanging on their gutters indicate a problem with the pitch of their installed gutters. This is most likely NOT the case.

So what does cause icicles on your home?
Experts say they are a byproduct of an “ice dam,” a buildup of ice on the roof along the part of the roof that extends beyond the exterior wall or the eaves. The buildup is a result of energy loss from inside the house. Not only does this loss of heat have a high monetary cost, but It also can lead to problems like rotted roofs and rafters, ruined insulation, moisture inside the walls, mold, peeling paint and even physical injury from falling icicles.

When the snow on the roof melts from the loss of heat off the roof, it runs down to the eaves. When the outdoor temperatures are cold enough to freeze, the eaves are also frozen since they extend beyond the warmth of your house. The melted snow freezes when it reaches the eaves and your gutters. Eventually, enough melted snow (that has now frozen) fills the gutters. When melting snow runs over the filled frozen gutters, icicles are the result.

How can you prevent icicles?
It’s simple! Fix the problem that is letting heat get out of your home by way of your roof. Insulate or re-insulate your attic.

In the mean time, have the snow that will eventually melt removed. We can help with our Roof Raking service.

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