How to Protect Your Gutters from Ice and Snow Damage

A substantial portion of the US receives wintry precipitation virtually every year, whether in the form of a coating of ice or multiple inches of snowfall. Though it’s certainly beautiful to behold, it can wreak havoc on your gutter system if you don’t take the right precautions. Below, you can learn more about some of the best ways to prevent damage to your gutters. 

Why is Snow and Ice an Issue?

When snow and ice piles up on your roof, it seems reasonable to assume that as the temperatures get warmer, the snow will simply melt and drip into the gutter system where it will be carried away from your home or building. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In many cases, warmth from the home warms the snow just enough to create a slick, which can cause a large swath of snow and ice to avalanche from the roof. This can cause serious damage not only to your gutters and your property, but also to anyone who happens to be standing below. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent this. 

The Best Ways to Prevent Gutter Issues from Snow and Ice

It’s always a good idea to prevent issues before they occur, and this is especially true when it comes to gutter damage caused by ice and snow. Some of the best tips for avoiding that damage include:

  • Insulating your attic space. When heat from your home rises to the attic and radiates outward onto the roof, this can heat the snow above and create a layer of meltwater between your roof and the snow accumulation. Ultimately, this means that several square feet of snow could suddenly shift and slide, damaging your gutters and more. Insulating your attic ensures that the heat is trapped in your home and reduces the odds of an avalanche. 
  • Installing snow guards. A snow guard is a gutter accessory that is designed to help distribute the weight of heavy snowfall across your roof evenly while “catching” large avalanches before they have a chance to fall. They come in a wide variety of styles, they’re affordable, and they’re relatively easy to install, especially when done by professionals. 
  • Consider heat tape. Heat tape – or heat cable – is a device that fits into your gutters to melt snow and ice quickly. This won’t do much to assist with avalanches, but it certainly can prevent meltwater in your gutter system from refreezing and creating ice dams that can do serious damage to your roof and your gutter system. It’s fairly affordable and easy to install, but again, it’s best left to a professional. 

Ice and snow can do serious damage to your gutters, your home, and your property, but it’s possible to prevent that damage with some forethought and a few simple preventative tips. Insulated attic space, snow guards, and even heat tape are all wonderful ways to keep the meltwater flowing the way it should, and for the most part, they’re reasonably affordable fixes that just about anyone can handle.

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