Gutter Tips

Frozen Gutter Problems: Don’t Let them Freeze in the First Place

If you live anywhere where it freezes during anytime of the year, and you have gutters on your house, how do you keep them from freezing?  In the early spring and late fall when temperatures are jumping from warm to cold and it’s raining then freezing, is it possible to prevent the formation of ice?  It is indeed, which is a good thing because ice can damage your gutters and your roof.

 

The Purpose of Gutters

The purpose of putting gutters on to a roof can serve a number of purposes.  For one, it keeps rain from sliding off of your roof straight down into your yard and creating a muddy mess.  It also keeps you from getting rained on when you are walking into your own house from the torrent that normally pours from a roof in the rain.  You can also use gutters to direct rainwater to places that it needs to be.

 

What are the Dangers of Frozen Gutters

how to fix frozen gutters

 Frozen gutters can lead to a number of different issues and damages to the actual gutter itself and your roof.  Your gutters can pull away from your roof and ice dams can form.  These ice dams can cause ice to go up underneath of gutters.  This can cause you to have later issues with a leaky roof, which can end up costing you more than having to just replace gutters.

 

Whoa, If this Happens How Can I Fix It

 If your gutters freeze and ice dams begin to form, the best thing to do is leave them alone and let them melt, or, unfortunately, call a professional to have them remove it for you.  Unless of course, you have the tools the professionals use, then, by all means, go ahead, but most of the time it is unsafe and you can damage your own gutters and roof by trying to remove ice.  There are methods that people try like; an ice pick or something else to chip away at the ice, warm or hot water through a hose, blowtorches and rock salt.  There are also roof tablets you can purchase but they do not fully remove the ice dams, they just leave little holes in them.  So, it is important to prevent the formation of the ice in the first place.

 

Stop the Ice from Forming in the First Place

 There are a number of remedies that people try in order to keep ice from forming in their gutters in the first place.  People use stocking that is full of calcium chloride, roof modules that are electric and heat the roof, removing the snow from their roofing or calcium chloride.  There are only a few, actually safe methods, to make sure that your gutters do not freeze and cause unnecessary damage.

 

The Sloping Method

 It is very important that the gutter attached to your roof are sloped properly.  You should also make sure that your downspouts are positioned for maximum water flow.  This will allow melting snow to easily escape through the downspout and will prevent freezing.

 

The Cleaning Method

 Another way to make sure that your gutters stay free of ice is to make sure your downspouts and gutters are clean.  The recommended cleaning is every six months, right after spring before summer and right after autumn before winter.  Making sure that your gutters a junk free will ensure that water does not sit in your downspout and freeze.  Gutters are made out of aluminum, the same thing that soda-pop is in.  It is designed to get cold and stay that way, gunk in the gutter will cause water to stop and continuously built up.

 

Calcium Chloride

 It is not recommended that you use any kind of rock salt in your gutter.  Rock salts will cause the aluminum to corrode and can also cause issues with the environment and vegetation in your yard.   You are able to use calcium chloride to keep your gutters from freezing up.  Either use the method of filling up a stocking with it and laying them in your gutters, or sprinkle a little bit in your gutters every three or four days in the winter.  This is not the safest method, and requires a ladder, but its can be done and it will help.

 

Remove Snow

cleaning frozen gutters

 One major way to prevent your gutters from clogging up with ice is to remove snow consistently.     Every time that it snows you can remove the snow from your roof.  This will keep it from melting and refreezing, which keeps your gutters clear of ice and debris.  There are all sorts of tools that you can get to reach snow on the roof without climbing on a ladder or the roof to do it.

 

Roof Electronics (not recommended)

 There are a number of manufacturers selling systems for your roof that melt the snow.  Unfortunately they do not work as they are supposed to.  They only melt the snow halfway and can pose a danger to your roof if left on.  Exposing any kind of electronic system to water, no matter how safe it is reported to be, is never a good idea.

 

There You Go

With all the methods of keeping your gutters free of ice, many that you can use at the same time, there should be no excuse to let your gutters freeze up.  Always make sure that you are keeping up with your gutter health, as it will make sure that your roof is not damaged and you are not spending unnecessary money that you do not need to spend.

 

If in the event that your gutters need to be deiced always make sure you do your research on your ice removal technician.  You should not be trying to remove the ice on your own and you should always get a professional to do it if this is an issue.  You can’t prevent this from happening, as a good ice removal person may cost anywhere from $500 to $1000, which is pretty much the cost of minor roof damage that would occur.  Always make sure that you protect your gutters, and by doing that you protect your pockets.

 

 

About the author

Chris

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