The winter season does not start until mid-December, but we have already seen our fair share of snow! Colorado winters are unpredictable, to say the least. Some seasons we escape the wrath of Mother Nature with a relatively mild winter. Other seasons we may see snow fall late into March or are hit with bomb cyclones, bringing intense blizzard conditions to the Front Range. However, when the frigid winter conditions do arrive, there are many problems that homeowners need to be on the lookout for. Burst pipes, cold indoor temperature, and icy paths and walkways are all common problems homeowners face. But, many don’t think about their gutters, and how they cope in this cold weather. Without proper gutter protection, ice and snow can wreak havoc with your gutters, creating bigger problems later down the line for you.
Tips To Avoid Ice Damming And Gutter Issues Caused by Ice & Snow
Ice damming is a major concern for homeowners in Northern Colorado. If left to their own devices, ice dams can cause major water damage to your home, destroy gutter systems, and result in costly repairs once the spring finally rolls around. At Front Range Seamless Gutters, out gutter professionals just how dangerous ice damming can be and we work hard to provide homeowners with effective ice damming solutions. In today’s post, we are going to take a look at the dangers of ice damming and some ways you can effectively prevent snow and ice damage.
How Do Ice Dams Form?
Ice dams are formed when water from melting snow on your roof runs down the surface of your home and refreezes at the bottom once it reaches the colder eaves, causing ice to build up and dam. At the edge of your roofline. Ice damming is a common issue with Colorado winters, mainly because they are so unpredictable. It’s not uncommon during a Northern Colorado winter to experience a snowstorm one day, have above-average temperatures and sunshine on two days after, and then cycle back to freezing cold temperatures. This variance in temperatures and undulating weather conditions puts your home at a much higher risk for ice damming , not to mention the potential damage that comes along with it.
Gutter Damage Caused by Snow and Ice
So what exactly happens when ice damming takes place? The short version of the process is that they can cause some serious issues by stopping your gutters from functioning they way they are meant to. One of the issues that leads to ice damming is the build-up of ice in your gutters. Ice can actually build-up in your gutter quicker than it can melt and flow out as it is intended to. When ice builds up, the top layer of the build-up will eventually melt, but flow over the lip of the gutter. This creates those long, picturesque, icicles that hang from your gutters during the winter. While they may look pretty, the weight of the icicles can put pressure on your gutters, putting them at an increased risk of cracking or breaking. Not to mention, the icicles could fall, making the walkways below them hazardous.
Another issue at hand is snow that melts off of your roof and into your gutters. Even when it’s cold outside, snow can melt off the roof thanks to the heat from your home coming through the roof itself. The snow melts off into the gutters, where it then refreezes into an ice dam. That dam will melt over time, and thanks to the overflow of water, it can seep under your roof’s materials. These ice dams can lead to rotting, mold, and other issues with your roof that can be costly to fix.
Tips For Preventing Ice Damaging
With all the risks that ice damming brings to the exterior of your home, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to avoid potential hazards and damages this winter season. Here are a few ways you can prevent ice damming and damage to your gutters.
1. Make sure your gutters are clear of debris
Before the cold season sets in and after all the leaves have fallen, get a ladder and have a close look at your gutters. Leaves and other debris block water trying to pass through, eventually causing a clog. Clearing your gutters, drains, and downspouts of fallen leaves, branches, and other debris will reduce the chances that water gets trapped, pools, and eventually freezes, which is the beginning stage of an ice dam.
2. Properly insulate your home
Attic heat is the enemy of all roofs. It can cause the snow on your roof to melt, which is how an ice dam starts to form. A solution to this is to increase the insulation in the area above ceilings to keep your heat inside, where it belongs. This helps reduce your risk for an ice dam, all while making your house more energy-efficient.
3. Consider heating systems
There are heating systems available for your gutters, which when installed keep water above freezing temperatures, even in the winter! These gutter heating systems ensure that the water keeps flowing through your gutters and eliminates the risk of water freezing and forming an ice dam.
4. Reinforce your gutter system
If you find that snow and ice are pulling your gutter system down each winter, consider reinforcing your guttering. Our professional gutter company can help you do this by increasing the weight load capacity of the gutters, meaning if ice does form you can ensure that your guttering will stay put.
How To Go About Preventing Ice Dams
Once ice dams form on your roof, it is almost impossible to remove them without causing damage to the shingles or roofing materials on your roof. However, they can be prevented with the right tools and technology. For example, heat cables can be installed to help limit the amount of ice build-up. Heat cables are usually installed in patterns along the eaves, in gutters, and in downspouts. While their purpose is not to prevent ice damming entirely; it does help to provide a clear path for melted water to flow through the ice, off the roof, and onto the ground.
Contact Front Range Seamless Gutters For Ice Damming Prevention Solutions.
Preventing an ice dam before it becomes a major issue is the ultimate goal. With winter right around the corner, it’s important to watch for these potential issues that can become a huge expense down the road. At Front Range Seamless Gutters, we offer ice dam prevention solutions as well as a selection of gutter protection systems that help prevent ice from building up within your gutters. Don’t wait until the winter weather arrives, make sure your gutters are prepared and protected beforehand. If you are interested in learning more about ice damming, contact our experts today!