Icicles Can Mean Poor Insulation

October 3rd 2014
Icicles Can Mean Poor Insulation


Q:  Last winter, we had a number of icicles on our roofline and gutters.  Is there something we can do to prevent this before winter returns?




A:  Icicles are a sure sign of poor roof ventilation and poor insulation in your home.


Warm moist air from inside your home can move upwards and leak around ceiling lights through poorly insulated ceilings and around attic access openings.  When this happens, the heat loss becomes trapped in the attic.  This heat can cause snow on the roof to melt, run down and freeze when it meets the cold overhang and gutters.


To remedy this, add extra insulation in the attic, and seal air leaks around the attic opening with weather-stripping, and around light fixtures and bathroom exhaust fans.


It is also important to ensure you have adequate roof ventilation.  One square foot of ventilation is required for every 200 square feet of ceiling insulation.  Note that the square inches per vent will be stamped on the housing of the vent.