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Icing out Icicles

Here we are again. Winter is coming. While winter in Illinois can be one of the prettiest sights, it can also bring danger that goes right over our heads. Icicles that form on your roof can be very dangerous. Without warning, they can come crashing down. The spear shaped ice can injure people below but can also tear off your gutters. Ice accumulation will greatly increase the likelihood of your gutters being pulled away or torn off of the home from added weight. The best way to avoid damage is by winterizing your gutters. This means preparing your gutters before the snow ever starts to fall.

How the icicles form

To prevent the icicles from forming we first need to know how they form. Icicles form as a result of ice damming.  When some accumulates on your roof, it builds up due to the natural slope of your roof. Heat from your home rises and escaped through the roof and melts the bottom layer of snow. When the snow melts it runs down the roof it starts to freeze again. This causes a layer of ice to start to form under the snow. This barrier is called an ice dam. As this process continues, the ice starts to form on the gutters, eventually forming icicles.

How to avoid icicles

The best way to prevent this from happening is preventative care. Here are some tips to avoid icicles:

  1. Check your gutters and make sure they are clear of debris. If the gutters cannot drain water that is running down the roof edge then the water will inevitably freeze in your gutters. This adds weight and wear.
  2. Make sure your attic is properly insulated. Don’t forget the air sealing! This will help keep the precious heat we are paying for in our homes! Not only will this reduce your heating bill, but it will also minimize the snow being melted on the roof.
  3. You can install a heat cable in your gutters. These heat cables are electric powered and will keep the temperature in your gutters and downspouts above freezing.
  4. You can also explore attic ventilation. At times the heat sources can travel through the attic itself. With no way to relocate these heat sources, we are left with limited options. We recommend looking into attic ventilation. Allowing excess hot air that is accumulating in the attic to escape will prevent your roof from being caught in a fierce battle of hot and cold.

At Industry Elite Services, we believe that the best way to care for our clients is to help them when issues arise but also to help them avoid issues to begin with. If your gutters need repair, call today!

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