Icicles: A Symptom of Heat Loss


While a row of icicles shimmering in the sunlight can be beautiful, seeing icicles on a cold day is a bad sign for your heating bill.

How Icicles Form

Icicles on roofs form when snow melts off the shingles and refreezes as it drips off the edge of the roof or gutters.

When to Worry About Icicles

On warmer days - near the freezing point - or very sunny days, icicle formation is normal. However, if icicles are present all winter long, especially on days below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you are probably losing heat through your roof.

Why Icicles Are Bad News

The most common cause is insufficient insulation and poor air-sealing in your attic. In science class, we all learned that cold air sinks and forces the warm air upward - this happens in your house too. Without proper air sealing and enough insulation, the warm air from your furnace slips through gaps in your ceiling and slowly seeps through thin insulation into your attic. What does this have to do with icicles? Icicles are a symptom of a warm attic (and inefficient heating). The heat in your attic warms the underside of your roof, which in turn melts snow and forms icicles even on the coldest days.

Icicles from heat loss

The Solution to Attic Heat Loss

Manually breaking off icicles and the ice-dams they can cause can be dangerous and damaging to your roofing, and ultimately neither these measures nor heat tape will solve the root problem. The solution is properly rated insulation (16 inches blown-in), air sealing, and good ventilation.


To keep your home warm and your heating bills low, give us a call for a free Complete Visual Inspection!


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Nice system to work out from.

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I like your way of blogging thanks a lot

Very Informative

yeah i know this because i live in that area where Icicles on roofs are usual. i have some very bad experience on this. and it cost you more, which is frustrating for homeowners. thanks that you share some worthful content for saving heat energy.

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That's true! Icicles can be very dangerous and unpredictable in winter. So everybody should be careful. Now, when it's summer, I remember these icicles and they remind me of my argumentative essay topics, which I need to write for my assignment. So if smb would like to discuss the same - would be glad to share experience and ideas.

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