While spring has poked its head out of the frozen ground the past two weeks, here we are gearing up for another threat of snow and freezing temperatures. Looks like that ole groundhog got it wrong this year.
Already the phones have been ringing with customers calling in damaged gutters falling off due to the heavy ice and snow they held this year. Since our local climate usually makes it through winter with little of the white stuff and nearly zilch on the solid ice accumulations, I thought I would address the various issues our home exteriors encounter and the protection available we may have thought we didn't need before.
Ice dams are what form along the edge of where your gutter meets the roofline and occurs when you have a large accumulation of snow or ice either filling up the gutters or a ridge of ice larger enough at the roofline to prevent melting snow or rain to even get to the gutters. When the temperatures don't allow for melting of this, it stays a solid buildup and as more rain, snow or ice accumulates behind it, shingle roofs often end up with leaks.
Metal roofs may not get shingle damage, but there is a whole different issue when ice dams form. The first type of formation comes when you have heat from the attic warming up the metal in various spots on the roof. This will cause the ice or snow to slide down to the roof's edge where that heat never reaches and the snow or ice will refreeze there causing a build up. Sometimes it will even empty into the gutter and remain there in solid form.
When snow accumulates in the valleys often it cannot slide down and off the roof, so it keeps building up and turns to ice. This does not usually damage metal panels with their overlapping strength and the sturdy underlayment, but when it does warm up and slide off, it can be dangerous to both people and items under it.
When you first install metal roofing you can have internal heaters installed underneath which will help prevent ice and snow accumulations. But if you already had your roof installed without them, it may be too expensive to do so afterwards. There is a type of tape that can be laid in strips on top of the panels and it acts like little heaters to help melt the snow or ice.
One option is to install snow guards in problem areas on the roof. These are like splash guards for rain that often comes down in valleys too quickly and "splashes" over the gutter, missing it completely. But they are made of much more durable metal and can handle the added weight of snow and ice.
By installing a completely enclosed gutter system such as Leafproof by Eran Industries, you greatly diminish the chances of ice dams forming.
Why not call us for a free estimate as soon as spring has sprung?
Wife of a gutterman