We are in the full throws of winter, and although Puxatawny Phill as assured us there are only a few more weeks of winter we aren’t quite out of the freeze yet. Many homes in Nashville, TN were frozen over this week with ice and snow due to the recent winter storms. Gutter maintenance is an important part of home ownership and during the cold winter months, this can be tricky. Freezing weather can pose serious hazards to gutters and subsequently your home, not to mention the fact that it’s difficult to clean and maintain your gutters when your roof is covered with ice or snow.
What Is An Ice Dam And Why Is It Dangerous?
Pertaining to gutters, an ice dam is when water builds up in your gutter and around the eaves of your gutter. When the weather hits below 32 degrees, this water can freeze solid inside your gutter. The result? Your gutter can swell or worse, fall off. The result is not only a damaged gutter but also a damaged roof with loose shingles. The heat from your home heats the roof as well as the suns rays causing the ice to melt that is on your roof. This water run off from your roof would normally be diverted to your gutters, but because the gutters are dammed up it with ice, it still needs a place to go. The water from all the melting ice and snow can eventually back up into your house causing sagging ceilings, peeling pant and warped walls and floors. In short, ice dams are not a pretty picture and definitely something you want to avoid.
How To Remove Ice Dams
As with most home maintenance, the key to solving the ice dam problem is to avoid them from happening in the first place. Ice dams are most common after a heavy snowfall. When the snow melts, it slides down to the gutters where it can potentially refreeze and cause damage.
What can you do? Ensure your attic is as well insulated as possible. The less heat escaping from your attic onto your roof means the less heat there is to melt the snow and have it slide into your gutters. Remove heating elements like space heaters, lamps and even furnaces from your attic and install them in a safer place. Hire a professional company to make sure your attic roof and walls are well insulated so heat won’t escape. Not only will this help prevent ice dams, but it will also save you money on your overall heating costs.
After a heavy snowfall or after rain has frozen outside, take a look at your gutters. Due diligence goes a long way in preventing ice dams from getting out of control. If you are unfortunate enough to notice an ice dam in your gutter, call a professional gutter company right away. There are several ways homeowners attempt to remove ice dams themselves including:
- Ice picks
- Roof tablets (melt the ice in the gutters)
- Additional “home remedies”
However, none of these solutions are truly effective at completely removing the ice dam. Additionally, all of these removal techniques involve the homeowner venturing out onto an icy roof, which is completely dangerous.
Rather than risk injury, if you notice an ice dam, contact a reputable company like the Gutterman of TN. Our trained professionals know exactly how to remove ice dams and can do so quickly, efficiently and safely. This will save you time and money because you won’t waste resources trying at-home methods or risking injury venturing onto an icy roof. Trust a gutter professional to help prevent and remove ice dams before they cause any damage in your home.