Prevention is the key to the problem of frozen gutters. It is much harder to thaw them out than it is to just keep everything flowing all along. If you are a Langley resident, you know how rainy and colder months in British Columbia can affect your rain gutters. In order to avoid having to repair or install a new gutter system, here are some expert tips to keep your gutters from freezing during Langley’s coldest months:
Check Your Rain Gutter Slope
When properly installed, gutters have a slight slope leading to the downspout. This ensures that water quickly moves out of the system. However, you shouldn’t assume that your gutters have the right slope, even if they did when they were first put on the house. They can settle with age, be knocked to the wrong angle by storms, or even suffer from improper installation. If the result of any of these things has caused your gutters to become flat, water will be able to pool within them and freeze.
The easiest way to find out if your gutters have the right slope is to have them inspected by a professional help for gutter repair and maintenance. If you already know that the slope is wrong, you can skip the inspection step and proceed directly to getting gutter repair in Langley. The repair crew will refasten the gutters so that they have the proper angle for good drainage.
Keep the Gutters Clean
Leaves, twigs, and other debris will eventually form dams if allowed to remain in the gutters. This allows water to pool and freeze. Have your gutters cleaned out every fall to prevent this problem.
Check our previous blog post and learn how to unclog a clogged gutter.
Take the Snow off of Your Roof
An abundance of snow on the roof, especially after a blizzard, can overwhelm your anti-freezing measures. In blizzard conditions, the gutters themselves can be filled with snow long before any salt could melt it. Then, you need to manually remove the snow before it partially melts and refreezes into ice. A roof rake makes it possible to do this job from the side of the house, instead of walking around on the roof. Other tools work well for clearing the gutters.
Add Insulation to the Roof
Insufficient roof insulation allows heat to leave the house and melt the snow that’s on top of it. This allows liquid water to flow into the gutters even on freezing cold days. Since the gutters aren’t exposed to the house’s heat like the rest of the roof, the water then freezes.
If you add enough insulation to stop the snow on the roof from melting on cold days, you will end the biggest winter source of liquid water. A bit may still melt and get into the gutter system, but it won’t be nearly as much as comes from a poorly-insulated roof. Then, most of the water will enter the system on days where the overall weather is above freezing. This ensures that it will remain liquid as it traverses the gutters.
Use a Heated Gutter Cable
The direct application of heat is a time-honored way of preventing and getting rid of ice, but you’ll need a special system to do it in your gutters. Gutter cables are meant to handle exposure to water, cold, and sunlight. If you don’t want to have to go up to your gutters after every snowstorm, or to keep putting rock salt in them, give these cables a try.
Like any other product, some cables are better than others. Be sure to read the reviews on big online retailers before choosing a brand. Even if you buy from some other site or a physical store, a good set of reviews can point you in the right direction. You can also find out prices this way, so you can better decide whether or not you want to pursue this option.
Does Rock Salt help?
Salt is quite corrosive to certain metals, especially steel. Make sure that your gutters will not have an overly-negative reaction to either salt or salt water before using this method. The same kind of salt that prevents and removes ice from your driveway can work in gutters, but it can also damage your gutters, corrode concrete and impact your landscape. We would recommend using other solutions.
Why Bother to Prevent Gutter Freezing?
When gutters freeze up, they can cause many problems. The biggest danger is to your roof. Frozen gutters do not allow water to easily leave the edge of the roof, and this causes it to pool and freeze right there. That, in turn, creates ice dams. The water trying to come down the roof behind an ice dam cannot get to the ground, and instead backs up under the shingles. Eventually, this results in roof leaks.
The weight of frozen water in the gutter system can also be a problem. It can cause the gutters to pull away from the house, damaging the connecting points on both the gutters and the house itself.
Make sure you add gutters to your home maintenance and winter plumbing checklist to avoid gutter issues during the colder months in Langley.
Contact Professional Help
If you need professional help to get your gutters at the proper slope, have heated cables installed, or to take any other anti-freezing measures, contact our gutter company located in Langley for assistance. Here at Weatherguard Gutters, we are standing ready to help you do everything possible to protect your gutter system.
Weatherguard Gutters provides gutter repair service, new gutter installation, and maintenance services. Our crews use safe practices, including the use of manlifts, so you don’t have to worry about our people slipping off of ladders or having other accidents. We also offer the best warranty on parts and labor in the area, deliver fair pricing, and promise quick turnaround on your job.
If you’re in Langley, or anywhere in the metro Vancouver area, contact us at Weatherguard Gutters today. We’ll make sure that your gutters stay free of ice this year and in the years to come.