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Huge Icicles on Eaves **Please Help**

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Posted by: from Brooklin
2/7/2011 at 1:33:15 PM

I am experiencing huge icicles on the front and back of my two year old townhome. This new home warranty is now expired. No one seems to want to help me. I found this website hoping to find someone to rectify this for me. I am very concerned, as the snow thaws I am worried this will leak into my garage walls and not to mention the icicles falling and hurting someone or causing damage elsewhere. (i have broken some off to avoid them from falling Please help what is the root of this problem? Insulation? Not big enough gutters? What kind of roofer do I need?

REPLIES (4)
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Ron from Jaykob Isaak Inc in London
Date/Time2/7/2011 at 10:57:35 PM

insulation and attic venting are the things you should be looking at.insulation allowing the heat into your attic and not enough venting to get the heat out

What happens is heat trapped in the attic space melts the snow, as the water runs off the roof and gets to the edge were the soffit is not heated it freezes again and creates whats know as an ice dam. The melted water backs up and quickly fills valleys and can get up under shingles and into your house This is a very serious condition and can cause huge damage to your home.

calcium chloride pucks sold as roof melter can be tossed up on the roof edge and will melt a path for the water to drain off the roof until you can get someone in your area to clear up the problem

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Date/Time2/8/2011 at 12:54:43 PM

As well, the roof where the ice is developing also may not have a secure vapour barrier in the attic. The best method to solve this problem is to do an audit of the situation, inside your attic, as soon as possible to determine the source of the heat and moisture losses. If you are in the Ottawa area I'd be glad to check it for you. Just let me know.

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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time2/8/2011 at 4:08:04 PM

Hi Christine- ice dams are a common sight this season as we have had a fair amount of snow. You probably didn't have them last year because it was a milder winter. Take a look around- you will see it is quite common everywhere. With the amount of snow buildup on your roof, warmer days will start to melt the snow & it will do what it is supposed to: head for the trough, except the trough is full of snow that has partially melted then frozen again; now you have an ice dam. You can get a (reputable) roofer to look at this problem, but I'm sure you will find it is not an insulation problem, but a weather problem. If the roof was properly done and the shingles are sealed you should have little or no damage. Try a heated cable over the area next year- it should help.

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K. in Fort Saskatchewan
Date/Time2/26/2011 at 6:55:37 PM

I have had a similar problem this winter on my attached garage in front. I live in a duplex, and have an unheated garage. I have found out that my neighbor is now heating his garage. Where the two roofs join there is a huge ice dam and I have had water damage in my garage. He has ice dams on both sides of his garage. My ice is only where my roof meets his. All of the reading I've done says its either heat escaping because improper ventilation or improper or insufficient insulation. Maybe you have a similar problem. I have been trying to keep the snow clear on the edges of the roof. I read to try and create a channel through the ice dam for new melt to run off with hot water. Good luck keeping up with that though, I found I had to chip off the ice on a hot winter day, through the dam and the gutter so the new melt can drain. Not recommended. Very hard on your roof, but mine was already in lots of trouble.

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