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For many homeowners in cold regions, unsightly and damaging ice dams are a problem throughout the winter. If you have them, you may have heard of the practice of “salting” gutters. This involves stuffing stockings or socks with rock salt, then laying the salt in the gutter or on the dam to help melt the ice. If you’re considering this practice, you may want to think twice before trying it. Here’s why.

Salting Gutters

No, It’s Damaging to Your Gutters

Although the exterior of your gutters have a nicely painted finish, the inside of your gutters aren’t as well-treated. If you expose the inside of gutters to salt throughout the winter, the salt will eat through the finish on the inside and begin corroding the metal. Unless you rinse gutters and apply a new protective coating after each freeze-thaw cycle, salting will ultimately damage your gutters.

No, It’s Dangerous for Landscaping

As water and salt mix and run through your gutters, the solution soaks into your landscaping and, depending on your gutter system, throughout your yard. Salt is essentially toxic to plants. When a plant absorbs water that has too much salt in it, the osmosis process is disrupted and the plant can become dehydrated. Eventually the saltwater that has come from your gutters will kill plants.

No, It Can Corrode Concrete

Because salt is corrosive, it can have a very damaging effect on sidewalks over time. If you have a gutter that drains near or on a concrete sidewalk or driveway, the corrosive effect will quickly become apparent. Think about a constant trickle of saltwater hitting the same area, day after day, as the snow and ice melt from your roof. You will find damage to that area over the course of the winter.

A Better Solution

There are other solutions to your ice dam issues. The best gutter covers alone won’t stop ice dams from forming, but if you have a Gutter Helmet® system with Helmet Heat® ice reduction built in, you can reduce and control them. The Helmet Heat system increases the temperature of your gutters, which helps decrease the formation of ice dams. The heating element is contained inside the gutter covers so there are no exposed wires. You won’t ever have to climb on your roof and salt your gutters again!

If you’d like to learn more about Helmet Heat and Gutter Helmet, call (800) 824-3772 and ask to be connected with your local Helmet Heat dealer. You’ll love the time savings that Gutter Helmet gives you all year round, and you’ll appreciate the innovation of the Helmet Heat system in winter.