When winter arrives, a common concern for homeowners is ice dams in their gutters. When heat from the attic escapes from a house, it can cause snow on the roof to melt. The water then runs into the gutters, which are colder, and refreezes, which prevents proper drainage. When water gets backed up, it can leak into a house and cause damage to the interior. Here are some tips on how to prevent your gutters from freezing this winter.
- In order to prevent ice dams from forming, you need to keep heat inside your house so that the roof and eaves will be the same temperature. You can accomplish this by making sure that your attic is well insulated and replacing any wet or damaged insulation. Ask a contractor how much insulation is recommended for your house and your region’s climate.
- Another way to prevent ice dams is to make sure your attic is properly ventilated. Inspect your attic and make sure the vents are clear.
- Seal the openings around electrical cables and vent pipes with a waterproof sealant to prevent water leakage.
- Prevent any problems you might already have from getting worse. If you notice any leaks in the attic or ceilings inside your house, get them fixed.
- Many gutter and roofing contractors recommend using heat cables to prevent ice dams. String them along the roof just above the gutters to melt snow on the roof. This will prevent ice from forming in your gutters. You can buy heat cables at most hardware or home improvement stores.
- If you can, remove snow from your gutters as soon as possible after a storm and rake snow from your roof. If you are not comfortable doing these jobs yourself, hire a professional.
- Some people recommend putting rock salt in gutters to melt ice. This might help, but it is only a temporary solution. You will still need to address the underlying problem.