When your home’s gutters are well maintained and hanging properly, they do a fantastic job of making sure water is diverted away from the foundation.
This is important all year round, but never more so than in the winter. Regular cleanings done by your St. Louis guttering company should keep the water flowing freely. However, blankets of snow in the winter increase the likelihood of leaves and twigs from gathering inside, causing blockages and ice damming.
What Is Ice Damming?
Gutters that are working properly will not cause ice to form. The source of ice in and around the gutter and roof is a result of poor insulation and ventilation in the home. Heat loss through the attic space is the number one culprit of causing large blankets of ice to form at the edge of the roof.
Ice damming is a build up of ice at the roof’s eaves. This is a dangerous situation for your home as it could spread under the shingles and affect the integrity of the products that hold your roof in place. Without proper insulation, heat escapes in the winter and causes the snow on the roof to melt. The water flows down the roof, but as it leaves the heated area, it will freeze again, usually at the eaves. This becomes a vicious cycle as the snow on the roof traps more heat in the attic, causing the roof to become even warmer, causing more snow to melt. As ice continues to form at the eaves, it starts to put a tremendous amount of weight and pressure onto the gutters. The gutters are not designed to handle this type of weight, nor are the fascia that is holding them in place. This will cause the gutters to buckle or pull away from the house, taking those pieces of wood along with it.
Prevention of Gutter Breakage in Water
How do you prevent ice dams from forming? The first step is to make sure that your attic space is not a source of heat loss. This can be done by sealing all leaks and adding thick layers of insulation. Not only will this help protect your gutters and roof, it will make a difference in your home heating bill during the winter.
The second step is to add sturdy gutter guards to the tops of the gutters. Not only do they assist in keeping debris from entering the gutter system, there are some that are significantly stronger than the gutter itself and can withstand more weight..
Warning Signs to Look For
As pretty as they may look, icicles hanging from your eaves are a classic sign that there is heat leaking out of your roof. When the gutters become blocked by ice, the water flows over it and freezes as it starts to fall to the ground. If you are seeing an abundance of icicles building up on your gutters, call your St. Louis guttering company immediately to find ways to clear them of the ice and protect them from falling down.
Although the cold weather may want to keep you from thinking of the exterior of your home right now, it is more important than ever that you are diligent about looking for signs of gutter inefficiency. The best way to do this is by periodic inspections of the perimeter, looking up to see how the gutters look, and your St. Louis gutter company on speed dial to help you prevent any gutter disasters before they happen.