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I noticed today that there is a nice long yellow line of snow below my eaves. It stretches for several yards, and seems to have been caused by the melt coming from our roof. Aside from thousands of squirrels having urinated on my roof (doubtful) what could be causing it?

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3 Answers

There are lots of things that can cause yellow, discounting flying dogs and squirrel infestations.

Are there a lot of trees around? Leaves may have collected in your eaves trough, or in other places on your roof, and seeped in enough water to cause discoloration. It could also be something else on the roof - as Eric mentioned, soot is a possibility, though I don't think that would be yellow. Are there any mines, paper mills, power plants or other sources of airborne contaminants nearby?

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I had a similar problem and believe it was caused by rotting leaves in my rain gutter (eaves trough). Turns out the gutter rounds a corner near where I saw the yellowish icicles, and during a recent rain I noticed that corner seam leaking a lot. So I think the water mixed with decaying gunk in the gutter, leaked out, and perhaps ran along the bottom of the gutter. –  Shimon Rura Feb 13 '11 at 15:02
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Pollen from trees and other plants could also be the culprit. –  RSMoser Feb 13 '11 at 21:02
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From here

The yellow snow and ice may be due to soot from a wood stove nearby. Had the yellow staining been only in the dripping off the roof, I would suspect it to be from the asphalt from the roof felt leaching out because water backed behind ice dams and got under the roof shingles. But if the snow itself turns yellow, that should not be the case. Sorry I can't be of more help.

So sounds like either leaching from the asphalt under the roof, or could be soot from a wood stove (or fireplace possibly) if you or a neighbor has one.

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rust! If snow touches rust it often imparts a yellow or orange color to it. check for rusting metal around where you see your yellow snow.

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