Gutter Maintenance: 5 Signs Your Gutters may be Susceptible to Ice Damming

gutter cleaningWinter in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, always brings interesting weather issues such as freezing rain, slick roads, heavy snowfall, and ice damming to name a few. There are ways to prevent some of the conditions that occur though, such as ice damming. Gutter maintenance is a great way to keep your gutters from having problems this season. In this short guide, you will be informed of the top five signs your gutters may be susceptible to ice damming this winter.

1. Ice crystals form behind the gutters

One of the most common places for moisture and ice to occur when you are susceptible to ice damming issues is behind the gutters. The water is supposed to travel from the roof into the troughs and out through the downspouts. But if you have ice-damming issues, your roof may be too warm near the edge and the water melts quickly and runs off the roof missing the trough and forms long icicles behind the gutters. If you see this occur, you need to call in a local handyman or an experienced gutter maintenance crew to fix your ice damming problems.

2. Ice in the troughs occur despite gutter maintenance

Your gutters are definitely susceptible to ice damming if you look to your gutters are they are full of ice. Even with regular gutter cleaning, you may have gutters that still clog up. With the gutters not functioning correctly, you can have ice dams occur because of warm temperatures that cause the snow and ice on the roof to melt quickly. There is not enough room for all the water so it spills over the sides of the troughs and refreezes as it does so.

3. There is heavy snowpack on your roof

Snowpack on your roofing material or decking usually is not a bad sign, unless you have an attic that has poor insulation or is too warm. If your attic has heat loss through the roof, then the snowpack is going to melt rapidly causing the water to rush into the still frozen gutters. This causes the water to refreeze and can cause long icicles from the troughs. This causes excess weight and damage to the gutters. Even gutter maintenance and repair may not be able to save your gutters if this occurs. You might have to pay for new gutter installation.

4. Icicles form on your roof

When you look up at the siding and see paint that is peeling, or if you have to crawl onto the roof to make minor chimney repairs, you do not want to see ice. This is a bad sign if you notice ice crystals forming on your roof’s surface. If you also notice ice developing on the edge of your roof, you are also susceptible to ice dams. Seeing the icicles form at the edge of your roof is usually the first warning sign that there is a problem. This is when you should be calling the professionals to get a handle on the issue.

5. Ice sticks to your siding or around your window frame

Moisture or ice that starts to form around your window frame or on the siding of your home means you most likely have ice damming occurring. If your house is not insulated well, has not had remodeling performed, or you are losing heat from the inside of the home to the exterior, you may have crystals form on your house. This heat loss is most likely causing the ice issue and needs to be evaluated immediately.

As you can see, there are multiple signs that will show up if you have issues with ice damming this winter. Whether it is due to ice behind the gutters, on the roof, around the window frame, in the troughs, or if you have heavy snowpack on the roof, know that your troughs and downspouts will be protected with a little gutter maintenance and gutter cleaning in the fall. If you follow our advice on the top five signs your gutters may be susceptible to ice damming, you will have freely functioning gutters this winter without any ice to be found!