Icicles on Gutters and Why They Can Signal a Problem

Icicles on Gutters and Why They Can Signal a Problem

Winter brings a whole host of weather conditions. Snow can be fun, but it can also accumulate, melt, and drip into icicles. These icicles pose threats to passersby and property alike, so you should address them before they become too large and heavy. Here’s more about icicles on gutters and why they can signal a problem.

Why Icicles Form

Icicles are beautiful, icy stalactites that form on roofs under certain wintry conditions. When snow accumulates through the winter months, the slow cycle of snowfall, slight melting, and icy dripping turns fluffy snow into rock-hard icicles. The snow on your roof melts over time when heat escapes your home and unsettles the bottom layers. This semi-frozen water then drips into your gutters, which are already laden with snow or debris that keeps the liquid from flowing through the downspouts. This buildup eventually overflows and drips out the side, forming icicles underneath.

Common Root Problems

Icicles are naturally occurring, but certain practices and problems with your house could affect their pervasiveness and severity. Poor insulation is often at fault for the formation of large icicles and ice dams in your gutters. Heat naturally rises, so much of your home’s heat goes to your roof. If the home cannot keep this heat in, the snow on your roof will melt, creating icicles.

Poor ventilation is also a culprit for recurring icicles. Many people who have hot roofs use fans to blow this hot air out the top or back through the house—anything to get the heat away from the roof. Without ventilation, the heat buildup will allow the bottommost snow to thaw and refreeze in dangerous patterns.

How To Address the Issue

You can head off icicles and ice dams in several ways. First, make sure your roof insulation is working well, and consider adding a few more inches to keep hot air far away from the snow. You can also install better fans and openings for ventilation. Another one of the best ways to fix the issue of icicles is to address your gutters. Find a gutter maintenance service to deice and clean your gutters so that any freezing water, snow, or ice will flow freely through your system. With any of these solutions, you can make it through the winter unharmed by falling icicles.

Once you know about icicles on gutters and why they can signal a problem, you can take steps to head off these issues proactively. If you have icicles and need help removing them or repairing your gutters, reach out to us at Gutter Maid—one of the best gutter installation companies around.