Snow and ice might be pretty to look at during the winter, but winter storms can wreak havoc on your homes’ exterior. Heavy snowfalls, sleet, and hail can quickly turn into large ice dams. These can cause damage to your roof and gutters, and gutters often bear the brunt of these heavy blocks of ice. Before the winter ice becomes an issue for your gutters, it’s good to have some tips and tricks up your sleeve to help combat the problem. 

The Problem With Ice Dams

Gutters are an important part of the exterior of your home because they divert water and keep it away from your house. This can prevent damage to your roof, siding, walls, and windows as moisture accumulates and rolls down your gutters. During the winter season, snow tends to fall, then melt, then refreeze and sometimes it falls all over again. As this process repeats, these frozen blocks of ice clog gutters and sometimes leads to bent or falling gutters. One of the best ways to prevent ice from damaging your gutters is by clearing them out before a winter storm. 

Tips For Preventing Ice Damage To Your Gutters 

As mentioned above, one of the most important things you can do to prevent gutter damage from ice is by making sure gutters are clear and debris-free. If the gutters are already clogged prior to a snowstorm, then the ice will have nowhere to go once it melts on your roof. Here are some additional tips: 

  • Check the structural integrity of your gutters. Gutters aren’t something that most people think about until they no longer serve their purpose. Make sure your gutters are in good working order before the next winter storm hits so you can prevent large and costly repairs. If gutters aren’t working properly, you may wind up with damage to your siding and roof or even in the interior of your home. 
  • Don’t forget the downspouts and surrounding areas. Clearing your gutters of debris is a good start, but it’s important not to forget to clear out the downspouts as well. You also want to aim for directing the water at least 10 feet away from the home. Clearing the debris on the ground in the area surrounding the downspouts also ensures that the water has somewhere to go when it flows down the gutters and through the downspouts. 
  • Invest in the right insulation. During winter, good insulation can keep your home warm on the inside but cold on the roof. This is important because a roof that’s closer to the outside temperature is less likely to have melting ice. If your insulation is not so good, your roof will be warmer which can lead to more ice dams. 
  • Consider adding gutter guards or helmets. These extra pieces overlap the gutter’s gaps and cause large items, such as blocks of ice, to roll off the gutter. 
  • Explore a gutter heating system. Although not entirely full-proof, a gutter heating system may help combat some of the ice buildup in your gutters by melting the ice as it accumulates. These systems tend to range in price and levels of effectiveness. 
  • Don’t try to do it yourself. We don’t recommend grabbing a ladder to conduct a close inspection of your gutters–this can lead to injuries or missed problems. Call a trusted expert to assess the condition of your gutters and make a recommendation. In addition, never try to get on a ladder and crack large ice dams in an attempt to remove them. This can be very dangerous. 

An ounce of prevention when it comes to your gutters can mean avoiding costly repairs down the road. Warren Thomson & Son’s gutter experts will assess the condition and structural integrity of your gutters and make sensible recommendations about your next steps. Warren County homeowners have trusted Warren Thompson & Son for gutter repair, replacement and renewal for over 47 years. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our residential roofing and gutter experts.