Protecting Your Home from Icicles | Ep. 105

Icicles on your roof can be a safety hazard and cause leaks in your home.
  • [1:24] What to do about flickering LED lights
  • [8:08] Would Varathane poly plus stain bring back color in paneling?
  • [13:24] Home Depot Best New Product – Effortless Leaf Collector
  • [14:41] What can cause icicles to hang from roofs?
  • [20:58] Tips for connecting timbers
  • [25:18] Simple Solution: How to draw a perfect circle every time – using a yardstick
  • [28:33] Question of the Week: What is a good replacement for an old sink/basin in the garage?

About Icicles

A large part of home improvement revolves around the weather. In the winter, icicles can cause many problems for your home. It is important to know how and where icicles form to be able to prevent them.

The two most common causes of icicles are improper insulation and ventilation. Snow falls on your roof, and as it gets warmer throughout the day, heat begins to rise from your home. If your home isn’t properly insulated, the underside of your roof will get warm and cause the snow to melt.

The eaves, or edges of a roof, overhang the house and are colder than the rest of the roof. When melted snow hits the eave, it freezes. Oftentimes, ice will collect in the gutters so much, a dam will form. The ice will block water from passing through, causing the water to leak into the house instead.

Icicles are also dangerous when they are hanging from your house. If they happen to be hanging over a doorway, they could fall and injure someone. They could also melt onto the steps of your home and freeze over, creating a slippery surface and a safety hazard.


About Insulation

To prevent the problems created by icicles, check to make sure you have enough insulation in your attic. Whether you live in the north or the south, you should have about 14 to 16 inches of insulation. It’s also important to make sure the insulation does not block air from escaping through the vents.

You shouldn’t have to worry about re-insulating an attic unless the insulation happens to settle in too much. Making sure you have the right amount of insulation will also save you money on energy bills in both the summer and the winter.


Dealing with Snow

Another way to stop icicles from the source is dealing with the snow on your roof. One of the best ways you can do this is by using a roof rake. These rakes are all aluminum, making them relatively light and not top heavy.

You can also buy handle extensions to fit your needs. Using the roof rake to get rid of the snow prevents it from melting and creating icicles or leaks in your home.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!


Simple Solutions

Circle Marking Trick—A pencil compass is fine for drawing small circles, but for large circles, use a wooden yardstick. Start by drilling a small-diameter hole through the 1-inch graduation; this hole will serve as the pivot point. Next, drill another hole through the yardstick 1 inch beyond the desired radius. For example, if you’re drawing a 20-in. circle, drill the second hole at the 11-inch graduation, which is 10 inches from the pivot point. To draw the circle, screw the pivot point down to the workpiece, place the tip of a sharpened pencil into the second hole, then swing the yardstick around to draw a perfectly round circle. 

Watch: This Lifehack Makes Drawing Circles Easy for Woodworkers 

Hole-Saw Plug Puller—Here’s a sure-fire way to remove a stuck wood plug from a hole saw: Drive a long drywall screw through the plug until it bottoms out against the back of the hole saw. Continue driving in the screw and it will push out the plug. If the plug is really stubborn, add a second screw on the other side of the plug. Then alternate between the screws until the plug slides out.

Watch: Hole Saw Tip: How to Prevent Stuck Wood Plugs  

Question of the Week

Q: I have a sink/basin in my garage that is really old. It has probably been there since the home was built in the 1950s. I believe it is made on concrete and some kind of metal. It’s a 40- x 24-inch double side basin, and it’s cracking, so I want to replace it.

So, my question is what is a good replacement for it? I have seen plastic sinks but they seem pretty cheap. Any ideas? And, where can I purchase one?

A: There are several options you can consider to replace your sink/basin. The most common types of sinks are made of cast iron, polypropylene, solid surfacing material, or stainless steel. Cast iron would be a sturdy option and can be found in a salvage yard. Stainless steel is a great option, but it is also the most expensive. You can visit Grainger’s website and have a variety of sinks to choose from, and The Home Depot sells a number of polypropylene sinks. Even though they are plastic, they should be fairly durable and won’t rust. Another thing to take into consideration is the sink cabinet may need to be reinforced when taking out the old sink.



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