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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The icicles hanging from homes across the metro might be pretty to look at, but they can cause serious problems to your roof. Experts say one way these icicles form is if you have leaves in your gutters.

“In your downspout, the leaves will clog that and the water cannot push through because it doesn’t have enough of a current or enough of a rush, so what will happen is your gutter will back up and that’s when you’re going to see the icicles start to form, almost as if they are growing out of the gutter,” Travis Andrews, Strausser Hardware manager, said.

Andrews also said if you have poor insulation or air leaks in the attic, it can warm the roof and cause the snow to slowly melt. As it reaches the edge of your roof, it refreezes, forming an ice dam. That ice can get under your shingles and cause some serious damage, leaking water into your home.

What can you do to stop this from happening? Right now, it’s too late. But once the snow melts, you can get remove leaves from your gutter. And don’t forget the attic. You’ll want to seal any holes with silicone caulk and add extra insulation to prevent it from happening again.

Charlie Schloegel, with Schloegel Property Solutions, said his crew has been busy shoveling snow off roofs, breaking up ice in gutters and downspouts for days. He had 20 appointments alone over the weekend .

Schloegel warns to be careful if you decide to get rid of the ice and snow yourself rather than hire a company like his. Your roof likely has a sheet of ice under the snow, so proceed up the ladder with great caution.

He offers another suggestion for stubborn ‘ice dams’ that prevent water from running down your gutter. Schloegel says to put ice melt into pantyhose and put that over the dam so it creates an area for water to run out.