Winter is just around the corner. And who doesn’t love the elegant look of icicles dangling from the roof during this season? Homeowners afraid of ice dams, that’s who! These pesky formations can cause serious damage to your roof and home. If you have gutter guards or are considering getting them, you might ask yourself— do gutter guards prevent ice dams? We’ll provide the answer, as well as some extra tips on how you can protect your roof from ice damage this winter.
Do Gutter Guards Prevent Ice Dams?
The short answer? Not exactly. Gutter guards will prevent debris from getting in your gutters, which can alleviate ice dams, but they still often freeze during the year’s coldest months. This allows the thick, heavy ridges of ice along your roof’s eaves to form. Before the weather drops, there are a few things you should know about your gutters, your roof, and ice dams . . .
How ice dams form:
Winter combines freezing temperatures with heavy snowfall—not a good mix for your roof. As nearly freezing water trickles down your roof and settles on your eaves/accumulates in your gutters, it will freeze, melt, and refreeze a number of times. This is how ice dams form.
Once the ice dam is there, fresh water trickling down will find the cracks in the dam and work its way back up your roof, under your shingles. This situation is precisely what homeowners want to avoid—it can cause leaks, as well as overall damage to your ceiling, walls, insulation, and foundation.
What you can do to prevent ice dams:
- As autumn comes to an end, clear out any debris and gunk that your gutter guard didn’t catch. This will make it more difficult for dams to form.
- Purchase a roof rake. This way, you can scrape away snow and debris right after a storm hits.
- Do not climb up on a ladder to rake or chip away at the ice dams. This can cause damage to your gutters or eaves, and is extremely dangerous for you.
- Got leaks? For a quick fix, take a box fan to blow cool air on the leaking areas in your attic. The cold temperatures outside combined with the cold air from the fan will stop the leak temporarily while you solve the larger problem.
- If you’re overwhelmed, call in a professional.
Again, gutter guards will help by reducing debris in your gutter and making it more difficult for ice dams to form, but it will not prevent them entirely. The best way to approach ice dams, though, is by putting in the work now, while it’s still fairly warm outside. Clear out those gutters, get a roof rake before you need it, and maybe even have your roof inspected to gauge what condition it’s in before any problems arise.
Do you need help preventing ice dams before winter hits? If you live in southern Missouri, contact the professionals at Taylor-Made Roofing. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing and guttering needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!