How to Avoid Ice Build-up in Gutters

Those warm fall days sometimes seduce us into forgetting about what is to come – snowstorms that leave deep drifts on rooftops, often followed by arctic outbreaks.

After the cold snap comes the warmup, and snowmelt works its way down to the gutters. A repetitive cycle of freezing and thawing causes ice dams at condominium complexes and housing developments across the area.

Since ice dams are found on the exterior of residences, they are typically the responsibility of the homeowners association. It is always important to keep ice dams under control to minimize the chance of water backing up and getting under the shingles. When you reduce ice dams, you also tend to limit the size and number of icicles.

Anatomy of an Ice Dam

A key cause of ice dams is the temperature difference between the part of the roof directly above the attic and the eaves. Under certain weather conditions, warm air rising from the living space and into the attic warms the roof enough to melt accumulating snow. Snowmelt then flows down to the eaves and soffits where it encounters colder surface temperatures. When the outside air temperature drops, ice dams form, particularly when gutters and downspouts are clogged.

The phenomenon is similar to that encountered because of temperature differences between roadways and bridges. Road temperatures are somewhat stabilized by the warmer temperature of the subgrade, while bridges don’t have this. Therefore, they more quickly freeze when air temperatures drop.

Keep Those Gutters Clear

Fortunately, there are proactive measures you can take if you are a manager of a homeowners association. First and foremost, you want water to drain off the roof as was originally intended. Clean gutters and downspouts are a critical part of your arsenal for fighting ice dams. The best way to deal with ice dams is to minimize them in the first place.

Every fall, leaves, small branches, shingle granules and other debris accumulate in gutters and downspouts. When temperatures drop, water backs up and freezes, exacerbating the problem. Although gutter guards can help, they cannot completely eliminate debris buildup.

Contact Us Today

Enter this winter season with maximum water flow through your gutters and downspouts. Clean County’s gutter cleaning service removes debris from gutters and flushes downspouts. Contact us today for a complimentary, no-obligation quote.