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Protect Your Gutters From FreezingDecember 17th, 2014
Winter is a beautiful festive season, but it also is a nuisance for home owners. The snowfall looks great while you are indoors, but the same snowfall can cause ice dams to form in your gutters. If you don’t prevent them from freezing, the snow can wreak havoc in your home. Sleet and rain in winter will overflow and find its way into your home causing damp patches and structural damage. Rather than risk this it is best to learn how to prevent your gutters from freezing.
Pour hot water into the gutter. It will get rid of ice or snow build ups. Heat water in a kettle and then carefully pour it along the edges of the roof, so that it gently streams into the gutter. Remember, before you attempt this, the roof should not have any snow on it. Otherwise it will again cause the gutters to freeze. If the down-spout is frozen, pour hot water down the spout to unclog it and melt the ice. You may need several buckets for this, so involving family members and forming a bucket brigade helps.
If you notice ice forming in the gutters, sprinkle some rock salt. This will help the ice to melt and will prevent the gutters from freezing. In fact even when there is no snow you should be looking to salt gutters as it will keep them from freezing when temperatures drop at night.
Remove the snow
Right after it stops snowing, bring out your ladder and get to work. Remove the fresh snow from the gutters. This will prevent it from melting and forming ice dams that will block your gutters. A rather unpleasant job during Winter, but it’s for the greater good.
Install heated cables along the length and breadth of your gutters. Those are electric cables that are placed just above gutters and the heat from them causes the snow to melt and flow out of the gutters harmlessly. They are an investment that will save you both time and worries.
Insulate your attic
Insulate the floor and ceiling of your attic. A warm attic will help melt the ice in the gutters and prevent them from freezing during winter. If your attic is already insulated, check the insulation carefully for leaks. Replace worn and wet insulation and repair leaks.
Get professional help
The best way to prevent your gutters from freezing in Winter is to get them cleaned during Autumn. This way, leaves, twigs and other debris will be removed before the first snow hits your home. Getting the help of gutter cleaning services is the best way to prevent frozen gutters. You can even use these services during Winter, since professionals have the correct tools to remove ice dams from your gutters without damaging them.
Use a welding blowtorch to melt the ice and snow in the gutters. However, this can be a cumbersome process, as the blowtorch will heat just a small area. Before using this method, make sure your roof does not have any inflammable material to pose a fire hazard. Also, be extra, extra careful not to turn yourself on fire.
Use these tips to protect your gutters from freezing. Remember, you have to take proactive measures not just in the Winter, but all year round. If you keep your gutters and drains clean, the chances of them freezing are significantly reduced. So, clean your gutter at least twice a year – once in Autumn before the onset of Winter and once again in Spring.