The Truth About Ice Dams, Icicles, and Gutter Guards!

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As the temperature begins to drop into the teens, so does our patience for outdoor home maintenance. Many of us take the approach of “I’ll deal with it in the spring”, but this outlook could lead to costly repairs later on. With temperatures barely breaking into the 20s, your extremities aren’t the only things suffering from this weather…your home is too!

Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures are never a good mix when it comes to the home. The warm temperatures from your attic will cause the snow and ice to melt on your roof. However, as the temperatures drop the melted snow and ice will begin to freeze again. This constant refreezing can cause ice dams and icicles to form along the gutters. If not properly taken care of the ice will begin to build up under the shingles, which may lead to water damage in the home. Watch out, a common sign of water damage caused from ice damming are water spots on the ceiling.

In the video above, owner Ken Parsons from The Brothers that just do Gutters suggests making two investments to prevent ice damming in your home. A roof rake, even though it requires more maintenance, can be used to take the excess snow off your roof. For a more maintenance free option, you may want to consider investing in a quality heating cable. They lay flat in your gutter and can be installed by most electricians.

During the winter season we often get asked if it’s normal for gutter guards to freeze. Yes! This is completely normal! Whether they are plastic or metal gutter guards will freeze. Gutter guards DO NOT prevent ice damming or icicles, however they do prevent debris from entering into your gutters. Gutter guards in combination with the heating cables Ken mentions in the video with prevent ice damming and icicles from forming on the home.

Not attending to these issues can lead to dangerous outcomes. If your walkway or driveway has become a slippery mess you might want to consider moving your downspout. Many of our clients have slippery walkways because their downspouts are draining out onto the walkway. By simply having a professional move the downspout, so it drains to another part of the home you can alleviate this problem.

For more winter recommendations, watch this video! Ken Parsons, will give you several tricks and tips on what to do during the winter months.