If you installed a metal cap on your gutters to keep them from clogging with leaves and other organic debris you may be surprised to see icicles hanging from your gutters. This type of gutter protection goes by several trade names and relies on hydrostatic tension to channel the water from the roof into the gutter. The metal cap is another cold surface where runoff can freeze interrupting the tension causing the melt water to run over the outside edge of the gutter slowly creating icicles. This may not pose a problem if the ice isn’t hanging over an entryway or walkway.
There are other alternatives to keep your gutters clean without the excessive ice. Most of these are mesh composite products that sit in the gutter flush with the top and filter the water channeled through the gutters and downspouts. Most of these products are treated with a biocide and fungicide to break down any organic matter that sits on top, and they are UV stabilized to protect against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Because they don’t sit on top of the gutters, ice forms the way it normally does from the bottom of the gutter up.