Ice build up in eavestroughs and along eaves causes concerns
SUMMERSIDE â With the unusual amount of snow this December, accumulation on roofs is common and has lead to evident ice build up in eavestroughs.
© Michael Nesbitt / Journal Pioneer
After clipping off the line of icicles dangling from his porch eavestrough, Ted Cross begins to rake away the snow that accumulated while he was on a Christmas visit to Vancouver Island.
The simple weight of snow and ice can be a problem in some cases, while melting can extend damage to the inside of the house.
John Nangreaves, of Central Bedeque, was out on Saturday afternoon clearing snow from his deck, though he has been attacking large icicles hanging from his eavestroughs for several days.
Water has been infiltrating around his patio doors, possibly dripping from under the soffit and inside the siding he presumes. It hasnât caused any evident damage at this point, but he is concerned that the leakage is occurring.
âIâm very concerned that if ice starts to shift, itâs all going to come downâŠ and take the soffit with it,â he said.
The problem is most evident along the upstairs eave crawl spaces and back porch that are part of his 1.5-storey home, which is more than a century old. Insulation just wasnât a big priority when the house was built, and Nangreaves hasnât owned the house long enough to accomplish all the upgrades he might like to do.
Ted and Rosalind Cross returned to their Summerside home, after a Christmas trip to British Columbia, to find a similar situation on their porch.
âIt is the first time in a couple of years,â that it has dammed up, Ted said as he prepared to destroy the icicles and rake the snow from the low-slope roof.
The only thing that seems to work is to get it off as soon as the snow stops. Ted Cross, home owner
âWe tried the heating wires; that didnât work. Someone advised us to use salt; that didnât work. Someone told us to take the eavestrough off, so we did; that didnât work,â the Crosses related.
âThe only thing that seems to work is to get it off as soon as the snow stops,â Ted remarked, knowing that his vacation time allowed the snow to harden and make his task more difficult.
Todd MacPhee, who has more than 15 years experience installing seamless aluminum eavestrough, couldnât really offer any advice that the Crosses havenât already tried.
He acknowledged that heat loss is a prime factor with snow melt problems, especially in older homes as compared to more modern units, but also reminded that weather conditions and sunshine on shingles create melting events as well. He recommends caution when working on roof ice and snow, to avoid accidentally damaging eavestroughs.
How well eavestroughs hold up can be factored on how well fastened they are and what they are fastened to, MacPhee advised. Sometimes, he concluded, it is better to leave the eavestrough alone as the ice, even built up, holds everything together.