Cleaning your gutters is a chore most people wish never existed. It involves climbing a ladder and putting your hands into the gutters, only to find a mushy pile of leaves, branches, and goo (likely rainwater mixed with dirt and other earth elements). As fall gets closer to winter, cleaning up this cold mass of goo and leaves can be both frigid and messy. However, cleaning your gutters is not done for aesthetic purposes. It actually is crucial for maintenance throughout the entire year, especially in the winter.
Gutters are the exterior drainage system for your roof. No matter the time of year, not providing sufficient drainage from your roof can cause extensive damage to your home. If your gutters are clogged during the warmer months, water can find avenues to escape the roof, including small cracks in the exterior. Worse yet, the water may back up and form puddles on your roof. As the weather chills, these puddles can become ice, which is even heavier on your roof. The roof can collapse quickly under the weight of ice, and you could find yourself with a huge problem during the coldest months of the year.
With decreased drainage comes increased risk of ice dams forming. Ice dams occur when the water from ice melts and has nowhere to go. It then gathers in your gutter and causes blocks of ice to form. These ice formations can include icicles, which can break off and cause physical injury to others. Ice dams can be detrimental to your property and to the safety of those visiting your home or business.
As ice dams form, they become quite heavy for your gutters to support. Therefore, the gutters can completely break off. This can be an even bigger problem because now there is no drainage system. Water will either stay on your roof or come down in sheets, causing problems for the exterior of your home. In addition, as ice dams form, the water from melting ice now stays on your roof, which can cause leaks. The same issue occurs with rain when your gutters are clogged. Ice dams can be an even larger problem than the original clogged gutters if left unattended.
There are several solutions to prevent or clear ice dams. First, to prevent ice dams, keep your gutters clean at all times. Do not allow debris or even snow to clog your gutters at any point. Keeping your gutters clean and clear is the most effective measure to prevent ice dams.
Once an ice dam is formed, it is best to contact a professional to help remove the dam. Waiting it out is never a good idea. More damage can occur from the ice dam being allowed to melt on its own. It is best to contact an expert who has studied proper ice dam removal. They can help keep your home safe while removing the unwanted dam. If you are in need of ice dam removal, contact the experts at RTD Ice Dam Removal at (651) 699-3504.