What Do Icicles Hanging From Your Roof Mean?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Bend Premier Real Estate 200009031

Homes in Winter -

This winter has seen more snow fall in Central Oregon than we have had for several years. Although beautiful, it can also be hazardous for driving and can create problems for Bend real estate. Among the most noticeable issue we have observed is a great number of icicles hanging from roofs. These are indicators of problems with your Bend home. Icicles form when snow accumulates on your roof and then melts. If your attic has insufficient insulation or improper ventilation so that your attic becomes warm, this will heat the roof and cause the snow to melt.  As it melts, the water flows towards gutters or the edge of the roof where it freezes again, forming icicles. Experts advise against knocking these icicles off, as this may break the gutter and can cause injury to the homeowner as chunks of ice can be very heavy and dangerous.

Icicles can also be an indicator of ice dams, which form when the ice continues to backup on the roof and the snow melt water from the heated attic gets under the shingles. This can cause a water leak into the home and can lead to significant water damage inside.

Solutions to Icicles and Ice Dams -

The best way to stop icicles and ice dams from forming is to evaluate the insulation in your attic. The colder you can make your attic through adding insulation and attic ventilation, the better it will be to keep ice dams and icicles from forming. Blocking all crevices in the attic where heat from the room below may be escaping, adding insulation and potentially adding attic ventilation will all help significantly with the reduction in icicles and ice dams - plus has the added value of making your home more energy efficient and cutting back on heating and cooling costs.  Other ideas involve removing snow on the roof with a snow rake; however, care must be made to avoid falls and electrical wires. Another idea can include placing old nylon stockings filled with snow melt over an ice dam to melt the dam and create a channel for the water to run off.

Spring will come, but in the meantime, keeping your home warm and safe through the rest of the winter is a goal every Bend homeowner should have. And keeping icicles and ice dams to a minimum is part of this.

Original Post can be seen at Bend Premier Real Estate's blog.


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Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Lynnea we don't get as much snow as you do, but we often see homes with icicles hanging from the gutters. When we do get a lot of snow Trudy often asks me to get up on our roof and push it off the sun room which has a flatter roof than the rest of the house.

Jan 09, 2017 02:26 PM #1
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

In college for a time I lived in a manufactured home with a flat roof.  We were on that roof a lot shoveling snow off it. 

Jan 09, 2017 02:30 PM #2
NextDay Inspect
NextDay Inspect - Sterling, VA
Your Trusted Property Inspectors!

I've got to tell you I have never heard of the old stocking trick to make a channel, interesting idea. You are quite right in your analysis of icicles and ice dams. If you have icicles, ice dams are sure to follow.  Where we are in

Northern VA you want to be the house that is the last to have snow melt off the  roof. One of the best way to do so, besides adding the proper amount of insulation and air flow,  is sealing the attic floor. They are many paths from the inside of your house to the attic, holes for wiring, chimneys, chase for vents etc...  I have literally gone into an attic pulled back insulation and see 3 floors down to the basement. Proper air sealing and adequate insulation are the number one things to make your home more energy efficient. The attic is technically outside the thermal barrier of the house and should be treated as such.


Jan 09, 2017 03:27 PM #3
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Those icicles need to have a professional come and remove them before any more damage occurs

Jan 09, 2017 05:21 PM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is timely advice to share. 

Home owners should seek professional advice if they are uncertain as to what to do.

Jan 09, 2017 06:00 PM #5
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Thank goodness we are not plaqued with icicles and ice dams. They can do so must damage to a home. Our winters are mostly mild.

Jan 09, 2017 07:06 PM #6
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Lynnea.  If I see this on my roof, I might just have a heart attack.  

Jan 10, 2017 05:22 AM #7
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow, I remember ice like that growing up in Pennsylvania, we would try to jump and knock them down, bad move.


Jan 11, 2017 07:46 AM #8
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Dealing with ice damns, or prevention of,  myself with some rentals.  Critical to keep up with the maintenance before a problem happens.  Good post.  M 

Jan 11, 2017 07:12 PM #9
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Lynnea Miller

Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon
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