Icicles are pretty from afar, but they can be dangerous up close. All it takes is one smacking down at the right angle to severely injure an innocent passerby. This guide explains how to get icicles off gutters so that you can protect your loved ones this winter.

Prevent Icicles by Cleaning Your Gutters

Prevention is the best remedy for any home hazard. Icicles are often the result of clogged gutters. Melting snow or downpouring rain can’t get through the gutters, so the precipitation runs off the gutter edges instead. Clean your gutters to remove clogs and ensure water can freely flow through them.

Since snowfall starts ramping up in December here in the Detroit metro, we recommend cleaning your gutters in late November for best practice. If you’re reading this in December, January, or February, just wait for the next clear weather day to remove leaves and twigs from your gutters. The wet debris may be heavy, and the ground/gutters may be slick. Use extra safety precautions to protect yourself and your property.

Learn more: Safety Tips for Gutter Cleaning and How to Prevent Ice in Your Gutters

Knock Icicles down with a Large Pole

Most icicles can come down with a gentle tap. All you need is a large pole so you can reach the ice from the ground. A rake or long broom handle should work fine, depending on how high your gutters sit. Stand below the gutters and lightly whack at the icicles. Make sure you direct the icicles away from you, not toward you.

Do not force an icicle to come down if it is stubborn. You may risk damaging your gutters if you use too much pressure. Wait for the ice to melt more, and you may have better luck knocking the large spikes down.

Wear Stable Footwear When You Walk on the Snow/Ice

Remember to wear stable shoes when you walk around your house. The ideal footwear would be boots with strong grips on the soles, but any stable shoe with rigged bottoms will suffice. Walk slowly, and talk each step with caution. You may want to have a partner available or alert someone before you walk the property in case you trip and fall.

Wait for the Ice to Melt

If the icicles are not along a walkway, you probably don’t need to knock them down. You could wait for the icicles to melt off on their own. Of course, you may want to remove them to relieve pressure on your gutters. This is mostly concerning for older gutter systems that are at the end of their lifespan. In this case, consider getting new gutters as soon as possible to avoid this hassle in future years.

Upgrade to New Gutters with Gutter Guards

If your gutters persistently clog and overflow, you may be due for new ones. We recommend getting a seamless gutter system with gutter guards to maximize the longevity of your guttering. Sargent Gutters & Siding offers seamless gutter installation, gutter guards, professional gutter cleaning, and more. Contact us at (800) 465-7460 to schedule a free estimate.