Should you Worry about Icicles?

I get the same questions every winter about icicles hanging from the gutters. Homeowners have no control over what falls out of the sky. In the wintertime in Ohio, that is usually snow. At first, the snow looks pretty and fluffy but after enough snow and after a few days of melting, the frozen water takes another form………………….icicles. As the snow melts from interior heat; it now takes on the form of icicles that hang precariously from the gutters. Since the H2O is now in a solid state rather than liquid, it does not flow normally through the gutters and downspouts as it did when the temperature was above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus the gutters are now frozen solid and extra pressure is applied to the gutter fasteners. Weak gutters will fail and pull away from the house.

So, what is a homeowner to do? Hire a professional to:

  • Install strong gutters using 6 inch continuous aluminum strengthened with Alcoa Leaf Relief gutter guard and attached with screws.
  • Before winter sets in, install a de-icing cable in any problem areas of known ice dams.
  • Break the icicles off thus removing some of the pressure on the gutters.
  • Increase the attic insulation, thereby reducing premature melting of the snow.
  • If an ice dam has occurred and water is dripping from the ceiling, remove the ice dam by chipping the ice away in the affected area and install a de-icing cable.

The homeowner should avoid:

  • Attempting to remove ice from the gutters as that will only harm the gutters.
  • Avoid walking beneath large icicles………… never know when they could dislodge and come crashing down. They can cause severe injury.
  • Climbing on a snowy roof.
  • Worrying about icicles. 99.9% of the time, they will just melt and go away without causing any harm whatsoever. Keep in mind that your house is not the only house to ever have icicles. It is a very common occurrence.

Yes, ice is a powerful force of nature but it can be managed if some of these measures are taken. At Solid Rock Roofing we specialize in making molehills out of mountains no matter what the concern may be regarding roofs, gutters, skylights or chimneys. Call us to discuss any of these concerns. We never charge for advice over the phone and are happy to assist our customers in any way that we can.

Rooftop Readings are written by Tracy Hanning. Tracy holds BS and MA degrees and is a veteran Industrial Arts teacher. He founded Solid Rock Roofing, Inc. in 1990. Drop Tracy a line at


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