Is It OK to Knock Icicles off Your Roof? Depends on Your Definition of OK
Maybe you do it because you think it’ll help you prevent problems (it won’t). Maybe you do it because the little kid in you can’t resist busting off an icicle and waving it around like a sword (it’s hard to argue, as that was cool!).
But you’re taking your life into your hands when you knock off an icicle. Why? Because if it’s an icicle that you can reach, it’s usually attached to a much larger blob of ice, which is in turn attached to your roof.
An incident in Erie, PA that demonstrates that principle perfectly. In the story titled “Firefighters Rescue Man Pinned By Huge Ice Chunk He Knocked Off His Pennsylvania Home”:
“It took a crew of firefighters to rescue a man trapped under a huge chunk that fell from his Erie, Pennsylvania home after he hit it with a shovel. Fire officials say a Pennsylvania man was lucky to survive being pinned by a nearly 7-foot chunk of ice he knocked off the side of his house.”
“Erie firefighters rescued the man Monday, chipping away at the 6-by-10-foot ice block and lifting it off the man’s legs. The rescue took around 15 minutes.”
“The 67-year-old suffered only minor injuries to his right leg.”
“Officials say the man was trying to dislodge ice from the side of his East Eighth Street house by hitting it with a shovel when the massive chunk suddenly fell. The man fell backward onto a woodpile, which bore the brunt of the ice’s impact.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not wild about the thought of being spared only because I landed on my tailbone into a woodpile.
If a golf ball can kill you. then a 6×10 chunk of ice can kill you faster than you can say Wile E. Coyote.
To add insult to ER injury, the falling ice can rip off your gutters, and the falling gutters can rip off a chunk of your roof. The best-case scenario is you only lose some granules on your shingles, which means they’ll more likely to leak sooner or later.
Leave them icicles be. If you don’t like the ice on your roof, call us to remove it. It’s a good idea anyway, given that icicles are a sign an ice dam has formed, and it’s always smart to call us before you’re in an emergency situation.