Come winter, houses all around the country shall start to look straight out of a Disney movie, with icicles hanging off every roof. While this can give your house an aesthetic lift, it can also spell trouble for both your house and your wallet. Ice damming in the winter can clog gutters and even result in them falling off due to their weight. Damming can also result in water logging into the house, spelling doom for your walls and ceilings, not to mention the mold and mildew that waterlogging can bring along. Once the ice damming occurs, it can be very cumbersome to remove. Even continuous exposure to sunlight would do very little to melt these dams in the winter. So, let us look at the different ways in which ice damming in gutters can be prevented.
Adding heated cables to your gutters before winter can help you regulate the temperature and prevent ice formation. These cables can be placed on the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern to ensure maximum coverage and efficiency. The cables must be laid before the ice starts to form, as there is always a risk of electric shocks when the cables come into contact with water.
One of the main reasons for the formation of ice dams is heated air escaping through the attic and melting the snow on the roof. Upgrading the home's insulation can prevent hot air from escaping and, thus, prevent ice dams from ever forming. This is done by creating a thermal boundary between the interior of the house and the exterior. Proper home insulation can also help you save considerable money on heating costs, as hot air won’t escape easily.
Along with insulation, one can also invest in air sealing and plugging the gaps in the house to round out the efforts against ice dams. Home insulation and air sealing have benefits that go beyond preventing ice damming, including energy savings.
If you are dealing with a full-blown ice damming crisis and it is too late for the other two options, you can consider applying a chemical de-icer. Calcium chloride deicers can be purchased at your local hardware store and need to be filled into a nylon stocking before being placed vertically on the roof’s edge. The chemicals can, over time, melt the ice and create a channel for the water to flow. This method can take several days to show results. Also, one must avoid chemicals like common salt and rock salt because they can damage the shingles and gutters.
While hiring a professional gutter cleaning and repair service isn’t the cheapest option on this list, it is by far more effective than trying to use a rake to throw deicing chemicals. The companies providing such services are usually insured and use professional equipment like steamers to remove ice efficiently and safely. While they can cost, on average, USD 200–300 per hour, that is still considerably less expensive and cumbersome than splurging on upgrading the insulation and plugging air gaps in a house.
Ignoring ice damming, especially in severe winters like the ones seen last year, can end up costing you a fortune in damages. The structural issues like leakage and mold that damming causes can spread fast, and before you know it, you might find yourselves spending a lot more money than you initially intended on trying to fix these damages. If you or anyone you know is dealing with issues caused by ice damming in gutters, Evergreen Gutters can offer easy and economic solutions. We provide comprehensive gutter cleaning and repair services for all types of homes.
Call today at 804-603-1280 or request a free quote online.