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BlogGutter ProtectionUncategorized

Good Care for Rain Gutter Covers Under Several Inches of Snow and Ice

By February 20, 2014No Comments

Gutter guards are ideal for keeping debris out and the runoff in. However, what if your runoff is six inches deep, denser than water, and producing icicles the length of a shovel? One St. Louis, MO resident on Ask the Builder said such a problem didn’t occur before she had gutter guards installed, prompting site owner Tim Carter to respond:

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Gutter Guard Systems and Icicles snippet

Icicles on gutter guards is a very common complaint. I’m willing to bet you had the problem before to a slight degree, but you just didn’t realize it. Before you installed the gutter guards, melt water would come down your roof and contact the cold gutter. I’m willing to bet that for years you had ice building up inside the gutter, but couldn’t see it from the ground. The only way you would see it would be if the ice completely filled the gutter and then started to create the icicles you now see on top of the gutter courtesy of the new gutter guard.

Regardless, not having quality gutter covers poses its own problems in the snow. For instance, snow can be packed inside the gutter, denying any fluid runoff from flowing safely to the ground. Packed snow, in addition, can also put unwanted stress on the gutter. With frozen conditions, the gutter may buckle and give way.

Gutter guard providers like Gutter Helmet® often recommend installing a heating cable called Helmet Heat® along the length of the gutter to prevent ice formations. These cables radiate heat by electric currents and ensure the snowmelt running down the roof stays as snowmelt the moment it reaches the eaves, lessening the chance of ice damming.

For another solution, Tim Carter suggests a snow rake to deny ice dams of a proper substrate. Create a no-snow area eight to ten feet above your trusty rain gutter covers by removing the snow from that area. Remember, you don’t need to get on the roof for removing snow; snow rakes can get the job done at ground level.

(Article excerpt from “Gutter Guard Systems and Icicles,” Ask The Builder)