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Snow, Ice, and Your Commercial Gutters

That jolly time of year is well on its way to us and with all of the fun and festivities comes cold, harsh winter weather.   As a business owner or property manager, you have to take extra care during this time to ensure your commercial property is free of winter hazards that could cause injuries to employees or customers or could result in property damage or lawsuits.  You’ve probably stocked up on ice melt, had your HVAC cleaned, and winterized your sprinkler system but have you thought about your gutters?

Your commercial gutters are as important during the snowy winters as they are in the rainy springtimes.  Melting snow and ice needs to be directed away from your building through your gutter system all year round.  When your gutters are unable to work as they should, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.  

The Roof

Many roofs on commercial and industrial buildings are flat which makes it easy for snow to build up.  One cubic foot of snow can weigh 20 lbs. So it’s not surprising that excessive snow building up on a roof can cause a roof to collapse.  Imagine the weight of a large commercial roof covered in a foot of snow from an overnight storm!  

The risk of heavy snow to angled roofs is mainly from ice dams.  Ice dams occur on slanted roofs when a poorly-insulated roof causes snow to melt and then freezes again when the water reaches colder areas of the roof. Because water expands as it freezes, it can lift and get under shingles and cause leaks.  Water from a leaking roof an cause expensive damage to the roof but can lead to extensive damage to the interior walls, ceilings, and if not noticed right away, could cause wood rot and mold.  

As snow and ice melt, the water gets into cracks and crevices and it expands as it refreezes, widening them and destroying the strength of the roof or gutters.

Ice Dams and Your Gutters

Having gutters or gutter guards does not cause the formation of ice dams but blockage of gutters with leaves and debris clogging gutters can cause them which is why it’s so important to have your gutters cleaned before winter weather hits.  This is particularly true of box-style gutters that are a common choice for commercial gutters because the wider opening allows more leaves and debris to collect in them.


Even in cold weather, the sun’s rays can usually melt the snow on your roof and gutters but it can be days and even weeks before this happens.  Snow is heavy as are commercial gutters and if your gutters’ fasteners are damaged or not installed properly, your gutters can sag or come crashing down after a heavy snowfall, creating a hazard for employees and customers as well as costly repairs.  To prevent this, your commercial gutters need to be cleaned and inspected before the harsh weather hits. 

It’s not too late to have your commercial gutters serviced for winter.  At GutterPros, our technicians can clean and inspect your commercial gutters to make sure they’re ready to withstand the hard winter storms. As leaders in commercial gutters, copper gutters, and leaf protection in the St. Louis area, GutterPros is your go-to for all things gutters. Call GutterPros today at (314) 656-7195.