Intricate snowflakes. Glistening blankets of white. Winter can offer some of nature’s most stunning backdrops. With the snowy season though also comes the three-letter word many homeowners dread – I-C-E. While icicles can be beautiful to observe hanging from trees or in nature, they are nuisance when they begin to accumulate on your home hanging from gutters and making your walkways slick. Ice can wreak havoc on the home as it weighs it down and then melts into a watery mess. Ice damming within the gutter system is one of the most troublesome (and frequent) problems homeowners experience. It can lead to many potential threats to the home’s integrity including foundational problems, hanging or sagging gutters and loosened shingles. One way to prevent ice dams and save your home during winter is with a heated gutter system.
Heated Gutters offer many benefits:
- Prevents ice damming
- Reduces overspills and pooling of water on sidewalks and driveways
- Minimizes icicle formation on overhangs and gutters
- Keeps entrances and walkways safe
- Reduces water accumulation around a home’s foundation
- Prevents shingles from lifting due to ice accumulation
The installation of heat cables onto the home’s gutter system is a job best left to a professional. An electrician or gutter specialist should be able to complete this project in as little as one day. To install, a heating cable is wired through the gutters and downspouts. They may be placed around the entire property or only at the areas of concern where ice and water tend to accumulate. To keep your home looking great, make sure your contractor takes care in keeping the cables hidden inside the system.
Heating Cable Types
Not all heating cables are created equally. To offer optimum performance in flushing the water away from the home, you should consider heating cables with a high density. These cables get hotter than most while also remaining safe to use. Cables with thermostatic controls are a great option since they are less likely to overheat while keeping your electric bills low. Heating cables can also be used only when the need arises turning them on during times of frigid weather.
The Root of the Problem
Keep in mind that while heated gutters can be a great solution to your ice damming troubles, they do not cure the reason why the home’s experiencing these problems in the first place. Most often the culprit is improper roof ventilation. When heated air from your home gets trapped under the roof, it melts the snow even during period of freezing temperatures. This melted water then refreezes in the gutter system. A roofing contractor can help address this problem by installing soffit and ridge vents to promote adequate ventilation of the roof.
GutterSupply.com is one of the nation’s largest online suppliers of gutter tools and supplies. Servicing both professional contractors and homeowners alike, we are dedicated to keeping you informed on the most current trends and best practices in the gutter industry. Visit our blog regularly for helpful tips from the experts at GutterSupply.com.