While nice to look at, icicles along your roof could be sign of a larger issue

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2015 file photo, icicles hang from a home in Sutton, N.H. New England’s epic winter is on pace to produce an epic number of insurance claims. Thousands of homeowners are filing claims as they begin to repair the damage brought by an especially brutal winter. Rooftop ice dams caused leaks into many homes throughout the region. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

Yes, all those icicles hanging from your back patio might look super cool, but it could mean terrible news for your apartment.

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The most dangerous parts of these icicles isn’t even that they could fall and hurt someone, although that is also a concern.

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But those icicles could indicate that the gutters are blocked, creating an ice-dam. This could eventually lead to water backups into your home if not taken care of properly.

One of the best ways to prevent these ice-dams is to clear any snow off your roof. Considering the city just got 18+ inches of snow and temperatures are expected to the 40s this week before freezing again, that’s a lot of potential ice that could be headed toward your gutters.

CBS spoke to Joe Palumbo of the Ice Guys based in Minneapolis. “An icicle is one of the first signs of an ice dam.  And bigger the icicle, the greater the threat of an ice dam,” he said.

Palumbo has already sent 15 members of his crew to Chicago as they’ve been flooded with thousands of calls for help.

“As far as voicemails, I can just tell you we’ve got about 300 we haven’t listened to yet,” he said.

If you think you might have ice blocking your gutters, the best response is to call professionals to take care of issue, so as to avoid personal injury or causing even more damage to your home.

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But familyhandyman.com has a few suggestions on how to prevent ice-dams to begin with.

  • Keep your attic and roof cold. This may seem counter-intuitive, but ice-dams form when part of the roof is cold and part of it is warm. There may be heat escaping through your insulation causing pockets where the melted snow can turn into ice. Close up any attic bypasses, double-check your insulation, and add ventilation if need be. Plus, this will help reduce heating costs and lower your bills.
  • Buy a snow rake and scrape the snow off the roof. This is a bit more tedious but no snow means no ice. If you live in a single-story home, this is a very effective way to prevent ice-dams.
  • Run an ice-and-water barrier up the roof from the edge. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive procedure and requires a re-roofing. But if you have the means, it is one of the better preventative measures against ice-dams.

What do you think?

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