It’s a sure sign of Spring . . . snow melt!
And for some folks across our Delaware Valley region, clogged and frozen gutters are causing water damage to their homes.
The problem is, all that snow is melting off roofs during the day but re-freezing at night.
And all that water has to go somewhere.
Frozen gutters are annoying, costly, and even dangerous – especially if they detach and fall.
But, worse than that, the frozen gutters cause ice dams.
Ice dams occur because the water has nowhere to go. Water always follows the path of least resistance – and sometimes that’s right into your home.
The reason for the build-up and weight of the ice? It’s usually debris caught in the downspout. It gets wet, it blocks water, and then freezes, adding unnecessary weight.
Thawing your downspouts and gutters won’t be possible until warmer temperatures are the norm because the gutters hold the cold.
So, what can you do?
First, resist the urge to go after the ice in your frozen gutter with a hammer or axe. You might end up doing more harm than good!
Once your gutters or down spouts are frozen solid, your best option may be to wait it out.
As with many things, the most effective way to attack icy gutters is to prevent them from getting iced over in the first place.
So looking ahead to next year, make sure your gutter system gets cleaned regularly, every six months. If the downspout is clear, then water will fall right through and won’t freeze.
Next, you can try the “stocking” method in advance of an impending storm and/or freeze.
A third option: Install gutter heat tape.
Heat tapes don’t melt the snow and ice. Instead, they create channels through the ice dam allowing the water to flow freely away from the home into the gutters or off the roof system.
Since water always chooses the path of least resistance, providing a channel where it can take an easy path away from the home instead of into it will prevent some of the effects of ice damming.
But no matter what, if you see water damage inside your home from clogged gutters and ice dams, don’t wait!
The water won’t dry fast enough to prevent mold from growing.