When people set out to prevent water damage on their properties, they assume that the installation of gutters is all they need. Getting professionally installed and fitting gutters is important, but only half the preventive alternative for water damage. You should invest in routine professional gutter maintenance to ensure that the gutters are free of obstructions and promote free water flow to your downspouts and away from your construction’s foundation.
Seamless gutter system contractors will recommend various steps for the protection of your gutters from multiple elements that will damage them and compromise their operation. One element they will focus on is the ice dam. Ice dams are ice humps that you might see along your roof during winter. They arise when the heat from your home and attic rises to melt the snow deposited on your roof. This melted snow will flow along the roof to the eaves.
Since the eaves are unheated, the melted snow refreezes to form hanging icicles or is deposited as ice in your gutters. Over time, the accumulated ice in your gutters causes them to sag and block the flow of water through them. The following are the alternatives that gutter contractors will recommend to prevent the formation of ice dams on your roof.
Roof Edge Heating Cables
These are installed along your eaves in a zigzag pattern. By heating them, they prevent the refreezing of the melted snow that leads to ice dam formation. They are quite effective in the prevention of ice dams, but they need a continuous supply of electricity. Moreover, the roof edge heating cables might not cover your eaves entirely, and therefore, there is still a risk of ice dam formation.
Metal Ice Belt Panels
These are thin aluminum panels installed along your property’s eaves. They shed the snow and ice from your roof and avert the leaking of water under your gutters that would damage your walls and fascia. Though metal ice belt panels are the same price as edge heating cables, they have no ongoing electricity costs and are cheaper in the long run. If your roof is old, you might need to replace it before the installation of these products.
This is the leading choice for the prevention of ice dams. It reduces the transfer of heat from your home onto the roof and averts the heating and melting of the snow. Insulation should be used in combination with ventilation products. These maintain air circulation, making it impossible for heat to buildup in the attic and heat the ice.
These are calcium magnesium acetate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, or ammonium sulfate products that melt ice. They are sprinkled onto the roof and they boost the flow of the melted snow into the gutters and downspouts. Though easy to use, de-icers are not as easy to apply since roofs with snow are slippery.
To some people, the above products seem inconsequential and some they can do without. Without one of them, however, your gutters will barely survive the winters in your area. They are an essential consideration for all property owners looking for exceptional water damage protection and properly functioning and durable gutters.