Winter is upon us, and with the season, freezing temperatures arrive for much of America. When temperatures get to freezing, any standing water will turn to ice and remain solid until the thaw of spring. This can be problematic for areas such as runoffs and gutters. Gutters are meant to capture water and move it away from household surfaces. Water in gutters can easily freeze due to a lack of insulation. When this happens, they can become so heavy they pull away from your house or form ice dams. Frozen gutters are unusable until thawed. Thankfully, if your gutters freeze this winter, there are methods for thawing them and returning them to working order.
While this may seem like the very opposite of what you want to do, sometimes the best option you have is to wait. If your gutter is frozen solid, the only way to completely thaw the ice is through professional heat treatment. Once completed, the ice can return days later if another storm hits. Breaking up ice in gutters can damage both gutters and the roof of your house. All roofs have a layer that protects from ice buildup during winter. Unless your roof is actively leaking water through, it’s safe to wait it out and let your gutters thaw on their own.
If you want a sure-fire way to keep your gutters and downspouts from freezing, a heating panel system is the only way to go. This system will use wires or heating elements to run the length of your gutter and downspout, warming the metal and preventing ice buildup. These systems cost anywhere from $500-$750, so you may need to save up before installing.
Outside of installing a heating system, the best thing you can do for gutters is to keep them clean. Professionally clean your gutters and downspouts every six months to keep them functioning all winter long. When gutters and downspouts are clear of debris, water will flow through instead of getting stuck and built up. When rocks, sticks, and leaves impede water flow, water will freeze and build up instead of flowing through your pipes. The debris will also add to the weight of the ice when they do freeze over. Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly, and you should save yourself the headache of ice blocks forming in them.
If you need to replace or repair your home’s gutters this winter, our team at O’LYN Roofing is ready to assist! Reach out to our team today for more information about our services! We can be contacted over the phone by calling us at (877) 289-6596 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your exterior remodeling needs!