Ice in the Gutters...What's the Problem?

Ice in the Gutters…What’s the Problem?

Many people who don't live in the North East tend to associate wintertime with snow angels, hot chocolate by the fireplace, and special moments with the family. But if you live on Long Island, you know all too well that snow and frigid weather can represent a host of problems, including ice in the gutters, busted pipes, slippery roads, shoveling snow, ice dams forming on top of roofs, and more. 

Ice dams, in particular, are often overlooked by homeowners before it is too late. Even so, ice in the gutters and ice dams can cause serious damage to both the roof and gutter system. It's a problem we at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island are accustomed to dealing with during the holiday season, so you don't have to!

In fact, you may be able to prevent ice dams well before they form by first understanding what causes ice damming and what ice in the gutters means. Let's take a closer look at ice in the gutters and when you should contact the team at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island. 

Why Do Ice Dams Form?

An ice dam is a buildup of ice in your gutters or on the edge of your roof that typically happens in areas prone to heavy snowfall or fluctuating temperatures. Ice dams usually form when snowfall builds up on top of a roof, creating an insulating layer of ice and snow. Since warm air rises, when heat from the home attempts to escape upward through the roof, it ends up melting the insulating snow that sits closer to the top ridge of the roof. This then causes melted water to drain down until it freezes on a frozen surface, typically around the low points of the roof where there is less heat (ie. heat rises).

The refreezing water on the edge can quickly build up and begin to block runoff water from exiting the roof – creating an ice dam. Left untreated, the accumulated water can eventually find its way under the shingles of your roof and lift them; creating new points of entry for water to seep in. If this happens, be ready for an impending roof repair bill, drywall repair, paint repair or worse. 

How Do I Spot Ice Dams or Ice in the Gutters?

To prevent ice dams and icicles from forming in the first place, make sure you keep as much snow off the roof as possible. Roof washing is a great method of keeping the roof clean, thereby allowing water, snow or ice, to slide off the roof unimpeded.  Just be sure to hire a professional if you do decide to take this route.

Even if you do manage to get rid of all the excess snow from your roof, it’s still important to be able to recognize the signs associated with ice dams. Here are 6 important warning signs to look for:

  1. Icicles forming by the edge of your roof or around your gutters.

  2. Ice forming under the eaves of your roof or in the soffit vents.

  3. Ice around and inside of window frames

  4. Ice or water penetrating the interior of your home

  5. Ice forming on exterior walls

  6. Finding ice in your gutters

What Can I Do To Prevent Ice Dams?

Too much snow on your roof is only one factor that can cause an ice dam. 

Upgrade Attic Insulation

If you're trying to be proactive in preventing this from happening, upgrading your attic insulation is a step in the right direction. When working properly, it prevents the warm air from your home from escaping through your attic. In return, this stops the attic from being warmer (in certain spots) than the temperature outside (a key contributor to ice dams).

Improve Attic Ventilation

If your upgraded attic insulation is working properly or you are unable to invest in an upgrade right now, the next tip is to improve the ventilation of your attic. Blocked vents significantly reduce airflow from entering an attic, allowing condensation to build up on the underside of the roof. Clearing vents regularly and installing an attic fan to evenly disperse warm air throughout the attic are commonly used preventive measures to keeping roofs free of ice dams.

Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clean

Hiring a gutter cleaning service is another effective way of removing ice dams and keeping your home exterior safe from water damage. And when it comes to keeping your gutters clean, the team at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island will make it as easy as possible. Learn more about our gutter cleaning solutions

Do You Have Ice in the Gutters? Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island

If you have an ice dam on your home or have spotted ice in the gutters, do not try to take care of it yourself. All too often homeowners either hurt themselves or damage their roof accidentally when they try to go it alone in dealing with this sometimes very complex problem. Instead, contact professionals like us at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning. We have the tools, knowledge, and experience to get the job done quickly and safely. 

Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island today for fast, effective, and efficient ice dam removal solutions! 

Erika Cruz

Erika began her career at Ned Stevens in September 2009 after 4 years of managing investment portfolios for banks and credit unions. She graduated with her business degree in Management in May of 2016 while working Full-time at Ned Stevens. With 11 years of gutter expertise, as office manager she is in charge of the day to day operation and is fully dedicated to her staff and customers.