Gutter guards in winter: snow, ice, and ice damming
Gutter guards are designed to keep leaves and debris from entering your gutter system. How do these guards perform in the winter months when snow and ice accumulate on your roof and gutters?
Any metal guard that is on your gutters during the winter months has the potential to freeze. While your guard is frozen you may experience icicles, and water melting over the front of the guard. If your gutter crosses a doorway or walkway you may have to keep an eye on those areas for any dripping or melting. Once the guard unfreezes and opens up water will begin to flow back into your gutters. We always try to educate our customers at the estimate process how their guards will work, and what to expect during the winter months. However some homeowners are surprised the first time they see this happening. We receive calls from home owners that are concerned that their guards are not working properly. The truth of the mater is icicles are normal with correctly performing guards and this process helps protect your gutters from winter damage.
How can a Leaf Guard protect your home from winter damage?
Leaf Solution, for example, is installed at an angle which helps to keep the snow and ice melting off the front of your roof line to help alleviate ice damming. Ice dams occur for many various reasons. They form when the ice build up at the edge of the roof eventually finds its way into your house. Although much blame for ice dams is given to gutters, the real cause is due to uneven temperatures, gravity and friction. (see our blog all about ice damming) Gutter guards provide three aspects of ice dam protection that would otherwise not exist.
- They help gutters to remain clog-free allowing the melting ice and snow to escape
- They strengthen and protect the gutter system and downspouts from breaking or falling off the fascia from too much weight or frozen clogs.
- They provide the optimal situation for installation of heat cables
If you have had serious issues with ice dams in the past, the best recommendation is to install a heat cable in your gutter and cover the gutter with Rhino Guard or Leaf Solution. Combining a gutter guard and a heated cable together can be a powerful way to keep your gutters functioning properly all year. A heat cable will melt the ice and snow by keeping the inside of the gutter warm therefore allowing the guards to remain free of ice and icicles.
We can recommend a qualified electrician who can install a heat cable to work properly with a gutter guard like Leaf Solution or Rhino Guard. There are also products on the market that combine both these technologies such as Gutter Glove Ice Breaker, and Gutter Dome Magma. These gutter guards come with a heat cable built into them.
No matter what the season, a quality gutter guard can help to protect your home from water damage. Contact us for a free quote on gutter guard installation, heat cable, gutter cleaning, gutter repairs, gutter installations or even snow and ice dam removal.
Article by Rebecca Pepe, The Brothers that just do Gutters