Most homeowners don't think much about their gutters unless it's summer. Unfortunately, winter is one of the times when the condition of your gutters matters the most. After all, the winter months are when your gutters can take the most abuse from cold temperatures, ice, snow buildup, and more. Here are a few things you need to know about the biggest winter hazard with your gutters, which is ice accumulation.
How Can Ice Form In Your Gutters?
You might think that it isn't likely that your gutters will freeze with any kind of volume of ice in them. After all, they are made to drain water, not hold it. Unfortunately, you may find that your gutters are actually retaining water, and if you're not attentive to it, that water will freeze. The weight in the gutters when this happens can cause the gutters to break loose, form holes, or suffer other damage.
How Can You Protect Your Gutters?
The good news is that you can significantly reduce the risk of ice accumulation in your gutters with a little bit of pre-winter preparation. The better prepared your gutters are before the weather gets cold, the lower your risk of any kind of ice accumulation and damage.
Clean the gutters regularly, especially right before the temperatures start to really drop. This will ensure that there are no sticks, leaves, or other types of debris in the gutters. Unfortunately, if you leave this type of debris in the gutters, it can clog them up. When they clog, the water won't flow out. This allows the water to sit and freeze in the gutter, causing damage.
You can also add some heat tape or heating cable along the outside edge of your roof and your gutters. The heat radiated by these will help to keep any kind of water from freezing.
How Do You Deal With Frozen Gutters?
Unfortunately, even the best protection may not prevent icing completely. If you have only a small layer of ice in the gutter, being proactive about it can help you avoid complete disaster. Treat the ice layer with calcium chloride to encourage the ice to melt. When the ice is thick, you can break it up with a pick or other sharp tool. Just make sure that you're careful while doing it because anything sharp could puncture your gutter.
The best thing you can do is to be proactive about taking care of your gutters. The more you understand about the threat winter poses to your gutters, the easier it will be to prevent problems. If you have any questions about taking care of your gutters, contact a company like A-1 Seamless Gutters Inc for advice.Share