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If you have icicles on your house, you have a problem. When we think of icicles, we usually think of a beautiful white winter scenery. However, icicles are responsible for over 1000 deaths per year and thousands of dollars in roof, attic and interior wall damage. In the following article, I’m going to explain what causes icicles, and what you can do to prevent them from damaging your roof and attic systems.

If icicles are forming on your gutter line, you either have no insulation, improperly installed installation or limited insulation in your attic space. This condition, combined with poor attic ventilation, allows warm air from the house to escape into the attic, increasing the attic temperature to above freezing. If there is snow on the roof, the snow will melt, and the water runs down over the soffit and into the gutter. Since the soffits and gutters are not above heated areas, the water refreezes and an ice dam forms at the gutter line. 

As the snow continues to melt, the water will continue to drain and back up at the ice dam. Water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak under the shingles and into the home, causing damage to the roof, interior walls/ceilings, and installed insulation.