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When Ice Isn’t Nice- A Guide to Handling Winter Gutter Emergencies

On February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of Winter. Unfortunately, that means there might still be time where your gutters are at risk of freezing from the bitter cold. In addition to Phil’s predictions, the months of February and March tend to see pretty cold weather at least periodically. These onsets of cold can wreak havoc on your gutters especially when combined with moisture from snowfall or freezing rain. This can cause ice to form in your gutters which can be very damaging if not removed promptly.

Frozen Again

You may have had an encounter with ice before, and you likely know from that experience that ice does not play nice especially when it’s directly in your line of walking. Unfortunately, it’s just something that comes with living in a temperate zone. Ice doesn’t just form on the ground in winter though, it can appear just about anywhere that water can reach, including your gutters. When precipitation occurs in the winter, there is always a small risk of your gutters becoming ice-bound and blocked, however, there are measures you can take to ensure your gutters have the best fighting chance against the cold!

Fight the Freeze

One of the most crucial steps to preventing frozen gutters is keeping them clean throughout the year, but especially during the fall months. As autumn takes its toll, leaves fall from trees in prodigious quantities, often landing on your roof and gutter. Additionally, other debris can become stuck there as well from wind and other elements. Cleaning your gutters throughout the fall can help ensure there are no leaf or debris blockages that can allow water to collect and then freeze into a solid mass.

These solid masses of organic matter and ice are the most dangerous threat your gutters face. Regular ice can be removed easily, but these clumps don’t like budge one bit once they freeze. As the days get colder, the lumps of leaves and water begin to freeze and expand which can cause major damage to your gutter system including warping and rupturing.

Keeping it Cool

Ensuring your gutters are free of debris for the winter will give you peace of mind without the fear that your gutters will suddenly burst, this will also save you money because gutter repairs and replacement costs can build up. Another step you can take to make sure your gutters are good to go is to get them inspected, and make sure they are flowing normally, and all components are working efficiently. A well-adjusted gutter system will resist freezing.

If worse comes to worst, and your gutters do freeze in the remaining winter season, act quickly! Running hot water into your gutters can soften any debris masses which you can then remove, and it will get rid of that pesky ice. If you are uncomfortable doing any of these things, call your gutter professional to establish a plan of action. If you need a professional gutter service that is dedicated to keeping your home safe, contact GutterPros today for a consultation!