If you live in a snow climate, you very well know what ice dams are. They are thick bands of ice that form along the gutters and eaves of houses. This type of problem causes millions of dollars of damage to home every year.
Ice dams can create a wide range of issues ranging from water-stained ceilings, dislodged roof shingles, sagging gutters, peeling paint, and damaged plaster.
You may wonder how these frustrating ice dams appear. Well, heat and warm air leaking from your home below melt the snow. This allows the snow to trickle down to the colder edge of the roof and gutters and refreezes. The worst ice dams usually occur when a deep snow is followed by very cold weather.
Many homeowners feel ice dams are caused by gutters. That is, false thinking. However, along those lines, gutters allow ice to build up in them. As your gutters become filled with ice, they can bend and be torn away from your house. Also, once filled with ice, water can leak down your inside wall, wetting your insulation, making it sag, and eventually leaving uninsulated voids in your wall. Soon a smell can result as well. Thus, watching your energy dollars vanish.
How do you prevent this big problem?
First, I'll tell you what not to do.
The worst thing you can do is shoving snow and chipping ice off the edge of your roof. I have heard of ones using hammers, ice picks, snow rakes and even chainsaws.
These methods threaten your LIFE, LIMB, and ROOF!
What to do...
It is very important to keep your gutters totally clean off any debris. This at least will give you a head start when the cold season hits.
However, to truly prevent ice dams and icicles, your need a "GOOD" gutter protection system.
Heated gutter guards are your best solution. They solve your snow and ice issues. Not only do they prevent ice dams and icicles forming in your gutter and your roof line, they melt the snow 1-3 inches up your roof, keep your roofs edge nice and dry. Along with prevent ice problem, they also keep your gutter clear of any debris year round.
There are a number of manufacturers that offer heated gutter guards. Whether you prefer mesh covers or reverse curve covers, all use a self-regulated heat cable that is connected to the gutter guard to generate warmth to melt the ice.
So, if you live in an area that is prone to ice dams and icicles, you would benefit greatly from a heated gutter guard. You will save your gutters and added expenses in the future.
Written by, Greg Schuring. Owner of Free Gutter Guard Estimate. (Get a free estimate for gutter covers)