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What Happens When Icicles Form?

Posted by Raychem Winter Expert on Nov 30, 2017 6:13:01 AM

Long a symbol of winter, icicles hanging from buildings, plants and other objects are a staple of the cold months. Often considered to be beautiful and a classic part of the season, icicles can also be a dangerous disturbance.

A heavy fall of snow can result in the weight of snow on a roof being equivalent to several elephants. When the snow starts to melt, ice dams and icicles begin to form. Icicles form when accumulated snow melts and refreezes over areas that are unheated, especially roof eaves and overhangs.


Dangerous ice formations at the edge of a roof can cause a hazard to people from falling ice, and damage to property including gutter failure, roof collapse and warping. Ice dams prevent melt water draining away from the roof and increase the risk of it leaking into building structures, causing water damage, rotting mildew and dangerous mold.

The demand from building owners is for a system that reduces the risks of winter weather while maintaining an attractive, elegant roof profile. Installation of a concealed roof de-icing system protects property and people, lowers the risk and liability for repair and maintenance, and could potentially lower insurance premiums. The system can be fully integrated into building management systems to increase cost savings.

Roof and gutter de-icing systems help maintain a continuous path for snow melt to drain from the roof through gutters and downspouts. No matter the material the roof is made from, de-icing solutions effectively prevent against icicles, ice dams and frozen gutter problems. De-icing systems are also designed to be aesthetically pleasing and fit in with the design of the building.

Safety issues caused by ice buildup in roofs and gutters are a serious manner and can severely damage buildings. Being proactive and knowing the risks and preventative measures against icicles can help save your building from costly repairs this winter.

Don’t let icicles get in the way. Download an overview of roof protection solutions: 


Topics: Winter Preparation, Commercial Applications, Winter Safety, Electric Heat Tracing, Roof & Gutter De-Icing

About our blog

Winter is a time to enjoy, not to fear the hardships it sometimes brings. In this blog, our Raychem Winter Experts share knowledge and tips on how to take the stress out of the colder days of the year. We specialize in keeping:

  • processes and operations running smoothly in industrial environments
  • buildings, infrastructure and the people using them safe from harm in commercial and residential environments.

No matter how extreme the weather conditions, Raychem winter solutions offer the best insurance for your processes and property against snow and ice-related emergencies.

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