How Cleaning Your Gutters Can Prevent Ice Dams

It’s no secret that winter weather can be rough on your home. With snowstorms, sleet, and even heavy rain, houses can really take a beating. Because of this, it is important to take preventative measures to make sure that your house is winter-worthy and ready to hold up against cold-weather specific problems. One of these common issues that you might face this winter is the dreaded ice dam

What is an Ice Dam? 

If you’ve ever seen a house in winter after a big snowstorm, you may have seen crests of ice along the edge of the roof or along the gutter. While this may look post-card perfect against a snow-topped roof, these icicles can actually be quite damaging to the home itself. 

These ice dams occur when snow from the roof melts under the sun or from the heat of the house itself. The water drips down off the roof and into the gutters. If the gutters are clear, the water will usually follow the normal path and drain down onto the ground. However, if the gutter is filled with leaves and twigs from the fall, the water can’t drain and will refreeze inside the gutter. 

What’s the Problem with Ice Dams? 

While a bit of ice accumulation doesn’t sound like the most dangerous thing in the world, it’s important to recognize that they can cause a lot of damage to a home. The biggest immediate damage is to the gutters themselves. Ice can be heavy, and gutters are meant to divert water away from the house, not hold onto it. The weight can cause the gutters to expand, crack, rupture, or simply come loose from the home. Come springtime, the gutters won’t be able to divert rainwater, so you might be looking at a leaky roof or other serious problems. 

How to Prevent an Ice Dam

The best way to prevent an ice dam is to make sure you are cleaning your gutters regularly. The buildup of leaves, twigs, and other debris will prevent any snowmelt from draining away. It will also encourage freezing of the water, which, as mentioned above, will cause the gutters to expand and crack. 

Roof Inspections, Repairs & Replacement in Worcester & Framingham, MA

While regular maintenance is key to keeping gutters in good condition, you may benefit from professional inspection and repair to get ready for those frozen temperatures coming up. In this case, Nor’easter Roofing can assist with any needs you have for preventing ice dams this winter. Nor’easter Roofing can be reached by calling 508-667-3278 or by filling out our online contact form