Long Nguyen | author
ICHQ | Site Author
While icicles can be pretty, they pose serious safety hazards to people and homes. It is crucial to remove icicles and resulting ice dams as soon as possible.
How Can Icicles Damage Your Home?
Icicles not only pose a safety hazard to people and pets, but they can cause significant damage to your home. The size of icicles varies greatly from very small to more than a foot long and greater than two inches in diameter. Many icicles can amount to more weight than the roofline, gutters, and eaves can handle, pulling them down and causing property damage. However, the main concern is ice dams that can form due to icicles.
Resulting ice dams that can damage your home
Icicles often prevent water from draining properly from roofs and gutters. When this happens, the trapped water freezes in place, resulting in an ice dam that can be large and heavy. When the sun thaws the ice, the trapped water can run back into your home through the shingles, ruining your roof and potentially causing water damage in your home’s attic, ceiling, and walls.
This means damage to drywall, paint, flooring, cabinetry, and anywhere else the water reaches. If not caught soon enough, the water damage can result in mold growth.
As beautiful as they may be, you do not want icicles anywhere on your home.
Can You Remove Icicles Safely?
Safely removing icicles from the roof or gutters is not a task to be taken lightly. If not executed properly, it can result in damage to your home, you, a pet, or other people who happen to be in proximity.
Hire a professional
Removing icicles from roofs and gutters is a dangerous task that is highly recommended only by professionals with the proper equipment and know-how to do the job. An expert will know best how to remove icicles and ice dams without damaging your gutters or roof. A contractor who is experienced with roofing can also check for damage and signs of leakage to your roof and home. At this time, preventative solutions can be discussed to avoid a recurrence.
Be cautious about removing icicles yourself
It is important to note that extreme caution should be taken when attempting to remove icicles yourself and should be left to professionals if you are unsure.
If you decide to tackle the project yourself, first, gather your tools, which include:
- A steady ladder
It is also advisable to have at least one spotter on the ground who can keep the ladder steady. Carefully work through each icicle without rushing, and ensure that you, other people, and pets are clear of the workspace.
Common Icicle and Ice Dam Removal Methods
There are several different ways to remove icicles, including:
- Roof rake: This tool helps you remove ice that you may not be able to reach without climbing on the roof.
- Deicers: These chemicals melt ice they come in contact with. Be careful because not all deicers are suitable for every type of roof.
- Hot water: Running hot water on the roof or gutters can melt the icicles and ice dams.
Preventing Icicle Damage to the Roof
Icicles are a sign of a ventilation problem within your home or attic. Prevention is key to saving yourself the hassle of removing icicles and ice dams.
There are two main causes of icicle and ice dam formation. The first is too little insulation in the attic. Without adequate insulation, the heat from your home rises. It warms the roof and melts the snow, which subsequently refreezes into icicles. You want your roof to stay cool to prevent this occurrence.
The second issue may be clogged gutters that do not allow proper drainage of melted snow, resulting in refreezing into icicles. Keeping gutters free of debris will solve this issue.
Consulting with a roofing professional can help you minimize or eliminate the issue of icicles and ice dams.
Do Not Pay for Icicle Damage If You Don’t Have To
If your homeowners insurance policy covers ice damage but refuses to accept your claim, Insurance Claim HQ is here to help. You shouldn’t have to pay for repairs that your insurance policy covers — that’s why you pay for insurance. Our experienced homeowners insurance claim attorneys will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free claim evaluation.
Icicle Damage FAQs
Should you break icicles off?
It’s better not to break icicles off. A falling icicle may injure you, another person, or a pet, or it may instead damage your roof or gutter.
What size icicle is too big for a homeowner to break off themselves?
While it is advisable to let a professional roofer or contractor handle all icicles, you should certainly seek professional help for icicles more than a foot long and two inches in diameter.