Icicles may be interesting to look at, but it's not smart to have them hanging from the eaves surrounding your roofline. "Icicles are created when snow accumulates on the roof and then melts, continuing down to the gutters and filling them up, where the water freezes and creates ice," said Rhett Wilborn, President of Innovative Home Concepts. "More water then overflows down the side of the gutter to create the icicles."
Homeowners can carefully knock the icicles off the gutters and shovel the snow off the roof to eliminate the source of the water flow. This isn't always possible, however, depending on the height of the roofline and the architecture of the home.
"What many homeowners don't understand is that their attics should be pretty close to the same temperature as outside," added Wilborn. "If this is the case, the snow on the roof won't melt. If heat is escaping and causing the snow on the roof to melt and run down into the gutters, there are three things to check and correct."
Wilborn advises homeowners to make sure they have adequate insulation in the attic, and to make sure all protrusions (attic access hatch, pipes that run through the attic) are properly insulated and sealed. "I also advise making sure the roof and eaves have adequate ventilation so the attic has proper air flow," he said.
Sometimes homeowners can do all the right things and still end up with icicles on the gutters. "Homeowners should know that gutters don't cause the icicles, they only show that heat is escaping from the attic, warming the roof, and causing the snow to melt and run down to the cold eaves along the roofline. The water then freezes, fills the gutter, and overflows to make icicles," explained Wilborn. "At Innovative Home Concepts, we offer rain gutter systems that control water flow and keep debris from accumulating in the gutters but unfortunately no one has created a gutter system that can prevent icicles because gutters do not cause icicles." For more information, please contact:
Innovative Home Concepts, Inc.
4410 IL-176 #1
Crystal Lake, IL 60014