A reader from Thunder Bay, Ontario just sent me an email because he’s sick with worry. His roof is steaming on sunny days and downspouts are plugged with ice for the first time in the 24 years he’s been living there.
If something like this is happening at your place, the first thing to understand is that a steaming roof is normal when you’ve got cold weather, when there’s moisture on the roof, and when the sun is shining brightly during the second half of winter. If your roof is darker than your neighbours it will also be more likely to steam just because it picks up more solar energy.
The only real issue is if the melting water is refreezing at the eaves of your house. If enough of this happens, it can trap liquid water and cause leaks. A few icicles and a little berm of ice doesn’t matter, but a lot of ice could be a problem. Given the fact that there hasn’t been ice damming for 24 years, this reader is probably A-okay.