Gutter ice is of frequent occurrence in areas which get a large amount of heavy snow. It happens when the temperature hits 0 C (32F) or below and water contacts the cold metal gutters. If additional chill water flows into the blocked rain pipe, a gutter ice dam could form. The subsequent result is a serious problem (or series of problems) you have to deal with. Although it is well-nigh impossible to totally prevent ice from forming in your gutters, there are a couple of preliminary measures that can help you reduce the damaging effects of ice dams.
Gutter Ice Preventing Steps
Ask the roof constructors to install an ice and water membrane made of rubberized asphalt. It will protect the house from entering water.
Step 2–Select Gutters and Downspouts
Choose wider gutters and downspouts or install additional downspouts if necessary.
Step 3–Vent Installation
Install vents under the eaves or roof overhangs and at a higher place (the gable or peak of the roof). Thus, your attic will be ventilated and the heat from inside the house will not melt the snow.
Dealing with Gutter Ice Problems
Look for the qualified help of a gutter cleaning company or try to clean gutter ice in case that all preventive measures have not been taken yet, and you have to remove the frozen ice from your house’s gutters.
Step 1–Check for Debris
Go over your downspouts and check for any debris that might cause blockage. Clear these. If you find an extension on the bottom, you might have to remove it temporarily. In case it is filled with ice, you may bring it into a warm room to melt the ice.
Step 2–Remove Snow
Remove snow from the roof. Do it with extreme caution to avoid damaging the shingles. You can remove snow using a ridged metal rake, pulling it downward. Do not direct the rake’s teeth towards the shingles. Try to remove half or two thirds of the snow–this should suffice.
Step 3–Make Passage for Water
Remove gutter ice, forming a passage for water to flow through. Use a hammer, chisel or any other appropriate tool to perform the task. Start removing the gutter ice after you have swept the snow off the roof. Work carefully, as your gutter has already been under significant strain.
Step 4–Pour Hot Water
Poor some hot water over the gutter if you cannot wait for the change in temperature. Alternatively, once you have cleared the roof of snow, the ice will melt with the temperature going up. It is best to use a hose with a spray nozzle. Water has to be warm in order to avoid freezing upon contact with ice. As you remove the snow from the roof, you have to take it away to avoid melting and flooding your basement.
Step 5–Install Gutter Guards
Consider an expensive but effective time-and-money saving option such as the installation of gutter guards, choosing aluminum heating panel or wire mesh heating guards.