Even if you took the time to winterize your gutters this year, you may still see an occasional issue with ice, especially after a large snowstorm or a cycle of heavy melting and freezing. Winter can be hard on our homes here in Colorado, so it’s always a good idea to keep a watchful eye on your roof and gutters and take care of any problems right away. The following are two winter ice problems in your gutters
to watch out for, and how to prevent, solve, or at least mitigate their effects:
- Problem: One of the most common problems with gutters in the winter is ice dams. These form when water melts off your roof, collects in the gutters, and re-freezes into ice, which then pushes upward under the first layer of shingles along the edges of your roof, making it easy for water to enter your home.
- Prevention: Consider having a professional roofer install what’s called an ice and water membrane. The membrane is a rubberized material that is applied to the bottom edges of the roof. In areas with especially harsh winters, the membrane can be applied in two layers for added protection, thus decreasing the possibility of water entering your home. To decrease the formation of ice, you can install wider gutters and downspouts—5” are best—to allow for more drainage, as well as properly ventilate your attic so that heat from your house will not cause melting.
- Problem: When ice does form, it can build up in your downspouts and block them. It’s not uncommon after a heavy snowfall for a downspout to fill up with ice.
- Solution: If you have an extension on your downspout, remove and stand it in a bucket in a warm place to let the ice melt. If a snowstorm brings a foot of snow or more, you may need to get on your roof to remove a portion of it so that the rest can melt naturally. To remove, use the back of a metal rake to brush about two-thirds of the snow off your roof. Avoid pointing the teeth of the rake towards the shingles, as this can damage them. Once the snow is off your roof, make sure to shovel it away from your home to prevent the melting snow from draining into your basement.
- Safety tip: Climbing ladders and getting on your roof in the winter is a safety hazard. Always make sure to be extra cautious when ice and snow are present. If you are not comfortable getting on your roof and/or clearing ice or snow away, hire a professional.
Living in the Denver area, we get a lot of sunshine in the winter, which means a lot of melting, too. So here at Arvada Roofing & Construction, we’re uniquely accustomed to handling seasonal gutter issues with our seamless gutter services
. If you’re experiencing an ice problem, or just have questions about what you can do to prevent them, don’t hesitate to contact us: 303-432-2753.