During the long, cold winter months, clogged residential gutters can easily become filled ice. When this happens, knowing what to do is very important. Knowing how ice blockages in your gutters can impact the drainage on your roof can help you avoid problems and properly maintain your home.
Is it a problem if your rain gutters and downspouts fill with ice?
Yes, if your gutters and downspout fill with ice, it can be a problem. Your gutters play an essential role in the drainage of your home's roof. Gutters help prevent ice dams from forming, by helping the water on the roof to drain into the ground. If the gutters are clogged with ice and therefore aren't functioning properly, this can contribute to the formation of an ice dam.
What can you do if your gutters become filled with ice?
If your rain gutters become clogged with ice, removing the ice can be very challenging. While you may be able to chip away at the clog with an ice pick, doing so will put your gutters at risk. One slip could puncture your gutters, and could even result in an injury. The best way to remove the ice is to melt it. If you have time, the easiest way to melt the ice is to use a pair of nylon stockings filled with rock salt. Simply lay the stockings down on the ice and give it several days to melt.
If you're trying to melt the ice more quickly, hook up a hose to an interior faucet in your home. Turn the water on hot, then run the hot water over the gutters. Alternatively, you can also contact a gutter repair company in your area to melt the ice in the gutters for you.
How can you prevent your gutters from becoming icy in the first place?
The best way to prevent this problem from occurring is to keep the gutters free of water and debris. This will involve cleaning out your gutters at the end of every fall. Stand on a ladder and use a hand trowel to scoop out the debris from your gutters. Collect the leaves in a bucket until it's full, then empty the bucket and keep going until the gutters have been cleared. When your gutters are clean, use a hose to spray down the inside of your gutters. Doing this every year at the end of the fall will help avoid frozen gutters in the winter. For more information, speak with your rain gutters installer.