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How To Keep Gutters From Freezing In The Winter

Posted on January 21, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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gutter in winter

As winter sets in and covers everything in snow, it brings along some challenges. One common problem for homeowners is the freezing of gutters, which can result in various issues that may cause significant damage to your home. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of preventing your gutters from freezing and share practical tips to ensure your gutters function effectively throughout the winter season, helping you safeguard your home from potential problems.

Best Way To Keep Gutters From Freezing

Here are the best ways to prevent your gutters from freezing and keep them working effectively:

#1. Keep Your Gutters Clean

Gutters Clean

Regular cleaning is the best way to keep gutters free of leaves and twigs, which can cause clogs and ice dams. When water becomes clogged in the gutters and then freezes, this added weight may tear down your gutter system, causing damage.  

You can use gutter guards as a barrier to stop debris from entering. Or ensure that your gutters are free of leaves and debris by cleaning them out by hand before winter starts. While cleaning gutters during winter is not safe, addressing clogs or ice dams promptly is crucial. In colder regions, hiring a professional before winter ensures a safe and effective job.

#2. Be Wary Of Heat Tape

Heat tape can be useful in preventing gutters from freezing, but its effectiveness isn’t guaranteed. This electrical system is designed to keep gutters from freezing over, but it won’t be effective if your home has inadequate ventilation or insulation. Additionally, if heavy snowfall occurs, it might just contribute to the formation of more ice. It’s important to note that relying solely on heat tape is not recommended, as improper installation or prolonged use can pose numerous dangers.

Heat tape also uses a lot of energy, so some homeowners like self-regulating heat cables instead because they are more efficient and last longer. That’s why homeowners should consider thinking about alternative options to better prevent freezing.

#3. Add Soffit Vents

In a regular home, a significant amount of heat escapes through the attic, mainly due to gaps and cracks around things like pipes and lights. This escaping heat can cause snow on the roof to melt, leading to ice dams along the gutters. To prevent this, it’s essential to seal these gaps with caulk or foam and install soffit vents to bring in cold air, keeping the attic cool and preventing ice dams. 

Good attic ventilation is crucial for letting out extra moisture, protecting the roof, and making insulation work better. Blocking vents, especially those near the attic door, should be avoided. Ventilation and insulation together keep your home comfortable and prevent issues like shingle damage, mold growth, and excessive attic heat.

Read Also: 7 Common Roof Ventilation Mistakes to Avoid & The 4 Best Roof Vents For Your Home

#4. De-Icing Your Gutters

Using a de-icer along your gutter channels serves the main purpose of stopping ice and snow from forming and causing blockages during cold weather. When water in the gutters freezes, it can lead to damage. By using sodium chloride, a common de-icing agent, you lower the freezing point of water, causing the ice to melt, even in sub-freezing temperatures. Application is also easy; you just sprinkle it evenly along the edge of your roof, paying attention to ice-prone areas. 

This method also extends to drains. by adding sodium chloride. Drains can block when they freeze, causing issues. A small amount of sodium chloride in the drains dissolves ice, ensuring smooth water flow.  Avoid using rock salt on roofs and gutters to prevent irreparable damage. Unlike rock salt, sodium chloride doesn’t cause any harm.

#5. Check Your Attic Insulation

Proper attic insulation plays a vital role in preventing ice formation in gutters. By maintaining a consistent temperature in the attic, insulation minimizes the amount of heat escaping to the roof, which can otherwise cause snow on the roof to melt and refreeze in the gutters, leading to ice build-up. This cycle is often the primary cause of ice dams, which can block gutters and lead to damage. Additionally, insulation helps keep the entire surface of the roof at a uniform temperature, thereby reducing the chances of meltwater freezing as it reaches the colder eaves and gutters. 

#6. Ensure Proper Gutter Slope

Maintaining the proper slope in your gutters is essential for preventing freezing and ensuring effective drainage. For above-ground gutters, a minimum slope of ¼ to ½  inch per 10 feet of downspout is recommended.

Inadequate slope can lead to water pooling and freezing, causing potential damage to the gutters. Consider using perforated pipes for underground downspouts to avoid water accumulation. Regularly inspect your gutter system for proper slope and address any issues promptly. 

#7. Use A Roof Rake

Roof Rake

Ice dams can pose a threat when snow on your roof melts and refreezes around the edge, hindering proper water drainage and potentially causing damage to your home’s interior. Using a roof rake as a preventive measure is effective. Clearing the first foot or two of space near the edge of your roof allows water to continue to flow down the roof, instead of building up and freezing. 

Be careful not to tear down the gutters from the roof line when removing snow with a roof rake. Also, ensure that you are a safe distance from the roof when pulling down snow so that you are not hurt in the process. Overall, utilizing a roof rake to remove snow and ice from gutters is crucial in preventing ice dams and protecting your home. 

Conclusion

Keeping your gutters from freezing is crucial in order to prevent water damage in the winter. Follow these easy steps to prevent frozen gutters and keep your home safe. Maintain your gutters with care, and if you’re not sure about any of these methods or need help, don’t hesitate to call professionals for assistance.

Are You In Need Of Expert Help Protecting Your Gutters This Winter? 

Contact BRH Enterprises, your reliable home maintenance partner! At BRH Enterprises, we are the experts in providing complete gutter solutions, which include routine gutter cleaning, with professional expertise. Our team of experts takes pleasure in providing reliable and efficient services because we recognize how important it is to maintain the integrity of your home.
This winter, avoid the headache of dealing with frozen gutters. Make the wise decision to contract BRH Enterprises for all of your gutter maintenance requirements. Take action now to ensure that your home is in the capable hands of professionals and enjoy a worry-free winter. Give us a call at (920) 249-4228.

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