How to Keep Your Gutters From Freezing
Icicles may look pretty, but they can cause major damage to your home — especially if they’re forming on your gutters. Water expands when it freezes, which can cause your gutters to warp and crack under the additional pressure. Gutters clogged with ice can also lead to the formation of ice dams on your roof, which can create serious water damage in your home. Melting snow that isn’t draining properly can also puddle around your foundation, resulting in leaks in your basement. The best way to prevent the damage caused by frozen gutters is to keep them from freezing in the first place.
1. Make Sure Your Gutters Are Properly Sloped
The right rain gutter slope allows water to drain through your gutters to your downspout. If your gutters are too flat, water can sit there instead, and it will freeze overnight. Adjust the slope if needed before cold weather sets in to avoid iced gutters caused by poor drainage.
2. Keep Gutters Clean
Once all the leaves have fallen from the trees in your yard, clean your gutters one last time before winter. Soggy leaves and other debris will block water and allow it to pool — and any water that doesn’t drain is likely to freeze and cause problems like iced gutters over the winter.
3. Consider Adding Rock Salt
Just as rock salt will melt ice on your walkways, so too will it melt ice in your gutters. A sprinkling of rock salt can nip ice gutter problems in the bud if you notice icicles beginning to form.
4. Remove Snow From Your Roof
Sometimes a big blizzard makes it nearly impossible to keep your gutters from clogging and freezing. To keep them free of snow after the storm, invest in a roof rake to clear snow from the eaves and gutters as soon as you can.
5. Try Heated Gutter Cables
If you still get ice in gutters despite your best efforts, purchase a heated cable designed for gutters and rooftops. String this along the top of your gutter, where its gentle heat will melt ice so water sheds away from your home.