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Lawley Shoff Darby Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Silent icicles, Quietly shining…

We have had our first major snowfall and with that a few days later come the icicles.

The icicles hanging from the eaves of your roof are a pretty distraction from the cold temperatures.

However, they may also be an indication of a more serious condition called Ice Damming.


Ice dams occur when the heated air inside your home leaks into the attic.

The underside of the roof gets warm causing the snow and ice on the roof to melt.

The melted water drains along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang.

The overhang is the same temperature as the outdoors and will refreeze the melted water forming an ice dam and icicles.

Ice Damming can cause damage to your roof and siding, which in turn result in water leaks to the inside.

Frequently the result will be a water spot on the ceiling under the roof damage.

Prescription Checklist

  • Don’t get on your roof to solve this problem, it could be dangerous.
  • Avoid standing on the ground and “chipping away” at the ice. Not only could this cause damage to your roof, but you can be seriously injured by falling ice, debris, or tools.
  • Contacting a roofing contractor to fix your roof leak will not prevent future ice dams.
  • Seal air leaks and sealing duct air leaks in your attic to stop warm air leakage (the source of the problem).
  • After sealing leaks, add additional insulation in your attic.
  • Provide adequate attic ventilation so the underside of the roof and the outside air are at the same temperature. Check to make sure attic insulation is not locking roof ventilation.
  • Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow. This will help prevent ice build-up in gutters.

Final Thought

Hire a contractor who is an energy specialist or specializes in air sealing to do an in-home evaluation.

A good specialist will use diagnostic equipment to evaluate the performance of your home and generate a customized list of improvements.

Contact Us today for more information about protecting you and your home from severe weather conditions and other risks.


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