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Home Maintenance

5 Ways That Ice Can Damage Your Home

By February 21, 2019October 16th, 2023No Comments

One of the most damaging forces in winter is ice. Ice can result from a freeze-thaw cycle after snowfall or from falling temperatures. You may end up with ice-coated trees, icicles hanging from your home or even ice in your pipes. If you’ve looked into the cost of gutter guard systems and thought they were too expensive, the related ice damage can be more expensive than you may think. Here are a few ways that ice can damage your home.

Ways That Ice Can Damage Your Home

1. Falling Tree Branches

If you have tree branches that overhang your home and they become coated in ice, they may fall and cause roof damage, gutter damage, or even break windows or crack siding. If you trim back overhanging branches before an ice storm, you can prevent this sort of damage much of the time.

2 Clogged Downspouts & Gutters

When water is trapped in your gutters and freezes, it expands. Depending on the material your gutter system is made from, it may crack, burst or even pull away from your home due to the extreme weight of the ice. The blocks of ice take a long time to melt, resulting in snow on the roof having nowhere to go – so it either goes over the edge of your gutters, forming icicles, or into your shingles, resulting in a roof leak.

3. Icicles

Icicles may look pretty, but they can do some serious damage to your home. First, no matter what your gutters are made from or who installed them, they weren’t meant to handle the weight of icicles. These can pull the gutters away from your home. If the icicle breaks and falls, it can damage siding or break windows. Even worse, if it happens to fall on a person walking beneath, you have another issue.

4. Water Damage

Eventually, ice will melt. Depending how fast it melts and whether your downspouts are full of ice as well, the water may not have anywhere to go. Water follows the path of least resistance. On some homes, that may mean between the gutters and fascia, resulting in damage. Another common place for water to go is up under your shingles. This results in damaged shingles and, potentially, a roof leak. If you’re lucky and the water runs over the edge of the gutters without forming icicles, you’ll end up with a lot of water in one place – which may lead to water in your crawl space, basement or beneath your foundation.

5. Ice Dams

When your gutters are clogged from leaves and debris, ice dams form. An ice dam may result in icicles or it may just back up onto the roof. This can lead to damaged shingles and too much weight at your roof’s edge. Because the ice dam often damages shingles, your roof is no longer protected and you’ll end up with water in your attic, potentially damaging insulation, wiring and anything else in there. Heated gutter systems can reduce ice dams.

Don’t risk ice or water damage due to clogged gutters. When you compare the cost of gutter guard systems to the potential for damage to your home, you will find investing in a gutter guard system from Gutter Helmet® – along with Helmet Heat® heated gutter systems – is a wise choice. Find your local installer by calling (800) 824-3772 or filling out our contact form.