What Causes Ice Build Up In Gutters?


What Causes Ice Build Up In Gutters? Gutters do not and will not cause ice.  The cause of ice in & on your gutters is either because of inadequate insulation, ventilation or both. Open, uncovered gutters are just at the wrong place at the wrong time and get the blame of homeowners’ frustration when ice forms.

What Causes Ice Build Up In Gutters?

So what is the true cause of ice? Well, heat loss from your home to your attic area is the primary culprit of ice dams. The reason ice and ice dams form is because warm air leaks from the living space below. The warm air then melts the snow on the roof; this produces water. That water then trickles down to the colder edge of the roof. Once the water hits that colder edge, it freezes and produces ice. The snow that accumulates on the roof acts as an insulator. It traps more heat in the attic, which makes the roof warmer. This trapped heat melts more snow. The more snow that melts and the colder temperatures during the winter, means more ice at the eaves of your roof.

Don’t let this happen to you.  A sheet of ice let loose from the roof, can get caught on the gutter and kept on going. Your gutter can pull away from the fascia board. This shows just how much power and weight ice can have on your gutter system.

Ice and snow will build up inside of your gutter; it is inevitable. The snow and ice will build up and build up; eventually that build up will become higher than the gutter itself. Once a warmer day rolls around, that build up that you see above your gutter will start to melt. Because the snow and ice is now higher than your gutter, it will begin to drip on the face of your gutter and the ground below. The inside of the gutter is full of ice and snow, so there is no place for that dripping water to flow. It will drip over your gutter, creating icicles, until the snow and ice accumulation melts level to the gutter and the inside of the gutter itself has a chance to melt and flow.

You can speed up the melting process with one of these solutions we’ve listed in a previous post. Many people will tell you to install heating cables but be aware that over time the heat from the cables will make your shingles very brittle. So be careful when choosing the right heated gutter guards. We offer Ice Shield Heated Gutter Guards by MasterShield. View how this system works, here.

Protect your home and avoid pricey repairs with gutter guards.


For a free estimate on heated gutter guards, adding regular gutter guards or gutter repairs, call us today! Our experienced team will take the guess-work out of the process, and ensure that your home is protected.

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