Though there are plenty of tools and accessories available today that are designed to prevent the formation of ice dams and the build-up of snow in your gutters, in some cases, it’s a good idea to manually remove that snow yourself. Here, you will learn more about the reasons why built-up snow can be dangerous as well as a few tips for its safe removal.
The Dangers of Snow in Your Gutters
Though it may seem that the snow will simply melt and flow through your gutters as intended, this is not always the case. When it is very cold outside, the sun reflecting from your roof and even heating your gutters may begin to melt some of the snow – typically at the bottom, where that snow encounters the metal gutter or the dark roofing material. Some of the melt will travel through the gutter system and drain as intended, but as the temperatures begin to fall in the evening and overnight hours, it will simply refreeze and turn into solid ice. This can put a great deal of weight on your gutter and cause it to sag or pull away from your home, and it could even hide a bigger problem – an ice dam.
Removing Snow Safely
There are a few different ways in which you can safely remove snow from your gutters. The first involves using a very long-handled broom or brush to sweep the snow away from the gutter system, and another involves bundling up, climbing a ladder, and scooping the snow out of the gutter (and off the roof near the gutter) by hand. Many professional companies can use machinery to make the process simpler; low-pressure steamers can remove virtually all the ice and snow from the gutter area. This must be used with caution, though; in subfreezing temperatures, steam can make the problem even worse.
Preventing Snow Avalanches
Snow avalanches are another incredibly common problem. These occur when huge blocks of snow that have been resting seemingly quietly slide down and off the roof suddenly. Depending on the amount of snow, these avalanches can cause damage to landscaping, cars, and even unaware pedestrians walking below the eave of the roof. Though removing the snow with steam techniques can certainly help, you can purchase snow guards from retailers like GutterSupply.com that will stop these blocks of snow from sliding beyond the very edge of the roof.
Budget options, such as the RT Mini Clear Snow Brake, are perfect for those with metal roofs, while those who have slate roofs should consider options like the No. 95 Snow Guard Assembly. Other options for other roof types exist, as well. Homeowners with the more commonplace asphalt shingles might opt for a product like Loop-the-Loop snow guards in pure copper, which last for many years but serve their purpose well.
The snow built up on your roof may seem harmless, and you might even think that a snow avalanche isn’t much of a concern. However, when left unchecked, it can create ice dams leading to roof damage or avalanches that can damage outdoor hardscapes, cars, or even people. Be sure to keep snow clear and check out the various snow guards available from GutterSupply.com to make this task easier.