Icicles form when the snow melts then runs down your roof and refreezes near the edge. This usually only happens when part of your roof warms to above 0 degrees C, warm enough to melt the snow, but the roof edge remains below freezing.
How can you softly remove these icicles before someone gets hurt if they break off?
You can take a long handled snow rack to knock them down. Please, make sure there isn't anyone around you while you do this.
Remember, as the home owner you are responsible to anyone that is on your property that may be hurt by falling ice. This means if someone gets hurt they may need to go through your insurance for medical treatment or if they decide to sue.
How To Prevent Icicles And/Or Ice Damns
Before the next winter arrives, attach a heat cable(s) in a zigzag patter along the edge of your roof, you will also have to run the heat cable in your eaves trough and down the downspout so the melting ice and snow can freely move. Make sure the heat cable is plugged into a GFI receptacle. A GFI receptacle is required in places where there is water near by.
Seal The Attic Hatch. An unsealed attic hatch is an opening for heat to escape. Seal them with weatherstripping or foil tape with foam on one side. This will help prevent any heat from escaping to your roof.
Add More Insulation. More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. Check with your local building department to find out the required amount of insulation. Or hire a home inspector for this part.
Flash Around The Chimneys. Seal the gap between chimney and house framing with L-shaped steel flashing held in place with consistent bead of a fire-stop sealant. Using canned spray foam isn’t fire safe.
Add More Seal. Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air. This is a good time to check for any mold that might have grown on your wood or your insulation because of any leaks in your roof. This will require your immediate attention.
There may be other issues causing the icicles or ice damns, check with your local home inspector if you're not sure how the ice is forming.
Irene is also here to help you with finding a good home inspector recommendation if you need one. You can reach Irene at 613-858-1151
The ice issues will also affect your heating bills and the value of your home. So, please get it checked out.
You may also want to read a recent article I did called: Steps To Get Your Home Ready For An Inspection?