As the cold winter weather continues to sock in cities across the country, many homeowners are noticing icicles and ice blockages, or dams, on their roof and gutters. Here’s how it happens: during the day snow and ice melt and run towards the gutters. At night that water freezes and solidifies in the gutters. If you notice many icicles it’s a sure bet that your home has ice dams forming. Getting rid of this ice is important as the weight of the ice can actually break the gutters. As the ice continues to melt the water can also creep under the shingles and cause major water damage to your roof.

Ice Removal

If you have ice blockage you’ll need to remove as much of the ice as possible prior to the weather warming up. There are many ways to achieve this, all of them fairly difficult and time consuming. One of the best roundups of removal can be seen here at Structure Tech Home Inspection Services. They carefully tested seven different methods of removing ice and noted the pros and cons of all methods. Salt, ice picks and blow torches (yikes!) are all discussed. Be sure to read their pro vs. con list before choosing a method.

Ice Prevention

If you’ve spent lots of time removing the ice, and you live in a region where this occurs regularly, you may want to invest in heated gutters. Many gutter professionals can advise you more specifically about the types of gutter heaters and you’ll want to have these professionally installed.

Top image credit: Improve It Home Remodeling