While many people think that the icicles adorning trees, homes and other structures in the winter are beautiful and magical, in actuality, they’re anything but. They can be harmful to people and pets if they were to get hit by one, and they can be particularly damaging to gutter systems. Icicles hanging off of your gutters are a sign that your gutters are clogged with debris, which means that water can easily back up and seep under the shingles.
What Happens When the Gutters Clog
Did you know that a single gallon of rainwater can weigh as much as eight pounds? This means that a clogged gutter could be full of hundreds of pounds of water and ice. If icicles are present as well, they’ll add to the weight and increase the likelihood of gutter damage. This is why it’s not uncommon for clogged gutters to pull away and even completely separate from a house.
While the strain and additional weight that icicles put on gutters are bad enough, you need to remember that their very presence indicates that there’s a problem with your gutter system.
What Causes Icicles?
As mentioned above, icicles often form as a result of gutters clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris. In addition, icicles can take shape when proper attic ventilation is lacking. Poor ventilation results in warm air building up in your attic and escaping through your roof.
This warm air is what causes the snow on your roof to melt and water to trickle down to the cold roof edge and re-freeze, forming icicles (which can damage your gutters) and ice dams (which can cause major problems for your roof and other parts of your home).
In addition, if your attic has poor insulation, this can allow warm air to escape as well. Both problems – poor ventilation and inadequate insulation – can easily be fixed, however. All it takes is installing a fan for better ventilation in the attic and blowing in a few more inches of insulation.
How to Stop Icicles From Forming
To stop icicles from building up on your gutters, it’s essential to make sure your gutter system is properly maintained. This entails keeping your gutters clear of leaves and other debris that could obstruct the flow of water. Gutter cleaning is a non-negotiable home maintenance task that must be repeated several times a year to keep water flowing freely through the gutter system.
If icicles form on your gutters despite your best efforts, you’ll need to carefully remove them before they can fall and injure someone passing below. Then you can check your gutters for any damage or signs of other problems.
Prevent Clogs With Gutter Helmet®
While heated gutters can prevent icicles and ice dams from forming, they can’t do anything about blockages in the gutters. Gutter Helmet® gutter guards can, however! Our patented gutter protection system will make it so you never have to clean your gutters again. Gutter clogs, icicles and ice dams will be things of the past. To find out more about this innovative product, give Gutter Helmet a call today at (800) 824-3772 or contact us online.
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