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Icicles may be pretty, but they are a sure sign of trouble for your Massachusetts house. That's because the same conditions that allow icicles to form—snow-covered roofs and freezing weather—also lead to ice dams.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents the melting snow from draining off. The roof melt that backs up behind the dam can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and can cause water to leak into your house. The resulting signs of water damage are peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings. What you don't see is the soggy insulation in the attic, which loses R-value but creates good conditions for mold and mildew growth.
Ice dam issues will cost you money, there's no getting around it. Infrared Diagnostic can help you identify long-term and hidden problems with an infrared moisture scan.
Why Do Ice Dams & Icicles Form?
It’s simple, really: icicles and ice dams form when warm air is allowed to escape from your house into your attic, melts the snow on your roof, trickles down to the eaves, and refreezes.
Icicles indicate paths of water flow on buildings, and quite often they indicate ice dams. But they sometimes can be signs of other problems--leaky gutters, blocked downspouts, water leaks in a roof or wall, for example.
Making a diagnosis based on what those pretty icicles are indicating is part skill, part technical investigation, and all solid experience!
Infrared Diagnostic has been working in this field since 2005. Investigating moisture and other problems in houses is one of our areas of expertise. We offer infrared services, a wide range of homeowner services, and builder services (such as code compliance).
Get Rid of Ice Dams For Good!
Hacking away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is bad for your roofing—and dangerous for you. It won’t solve the problem. Don’t settle for any band-aid fixes that address the surface issue without eliminating the cause.
Eliminating ice dams is fundamentally a matter of getting the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves. The solution to your ice dam problems will be specific to your house. Here are some potential areas Infrared Diagnostic might recommend improvements to for ice dam remediation:
Ventilate eaves and ridge
Seal the attic hatch
Seal can or recessed lighting fixtures
Seal and insulate ducts
Install flashing at chimneys
Caulk or foam all electrical and plumbing penetrations
Move all exhaust vents to the outside