Home inspector explains what icicles mean in terms of heat loss - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Home inspector explains what icicles mean in terms of heat loss

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KENNEWICK, WA -  So many of us have icicles outside our homes and offices right now but what do icicles really mean? Poor insulation? Heat loss from a building? Those are the questions a local home inspector answered.

"This is an infrared camera and what it shows is hot and cold," said Platinum Inspection Services owner Kenny Larsen.

Well, we all know it's cold - so what do icicles have to do with cold and heat?

"Icicles mean you're losing some heat and it also could mean you have poor ventilation in your attic," said Larsen and that's where his infrared camera comes into play. They can be used to show where heat is escaping a home. 

"Have someone take a look in your attic to see that your insulation is intact. When you have icicles in a localized area like this, it makes me think somebody had done some repairs in the attic... Scraped some of the insulation away and didn't put it back," said Larsen.

He took a look inside a house with large icicles forming near the front door. He found a lot of heat escaping from home improvements like recessed lights and surround sound speakers. 

"You could have a condition called ice damming. The snow melts and it gets over your eaves that aren't insulated and really cold so it freezes back up. It will actually have a pool of water there," said Larsen. He explained newer roofs are okay. There should be an ice barrier intact that will stop water from leaking in. Older roofs could be damaged.

"Another thing that people don't realize, especially if they have an older home, is PUD often has rebates where they will help pay for you to increase the insulation in your home and it's a win-win for everybody," said Larsen.

Another few things you can do around the house is close up crawl spaces and insulate them in the winter time to keep heat in. Also, you should unscrew any garden hoses that are hooked up. Any water left in it can go back in the house and melt when it warms up.