A lot of homeowners have dealt with frozen gutters before. Freezing rain is a common occurrence, and when it hits your roof, the cold water will seep in and flow down to the gutter. There are inevitable drips, and when those freeze on contact, you can imagine what that does to your gutters.
If your gutters are frozen, you’ll want to get right on it. When puddles form on the sidewalk, it’s probably not a good sign. When your gutters are frozen, there are some things that you can do to remove that ice and keep down the damage. Here are 15 methods to take care of the frozen gutter problem.
1. Use a roof rake
This is a common way people fix their gutters. Just grab the shovel and make sure that you don’t scratch the sides of your house or other structures in your yard by digging away at the ice. If you have a smaller area, you can use a rake to clear the ice. Just make sure that your rake is made of wood and not metal otherwise there’s a chance it could cause damage and need roof repairs.
2. Fill the space with boiling water
You can also use your fire extinguisher and fill the gutter with boiling water. Your gutters will shrink down once you let that ice melt away in a few minutes. Just make sure that you use hot water because cold water will freeze over again after it cools down.
3. Install solar gutter de-icing system
If you’re worried about frozen gutters coming back every winter, you can install a solar gutter de-icing system. This system is placed on the roof and not in the gutter and is able to send heat directly to the ice using an electric heating element. When ice starts to build again during the winter, this will melt it before it settles on your roof and walls.
4. Use an acid cleaner
To get rid of the ice, you can use a mild acid cleaner, like vinegar or lemon juice. Just make sure that you don’t use anything that is corrosive or caustic because it could burn through your gutters and cause more damage to your yard and house. You can also try using commercial cleaners provided by a gutter company, but they’re expensive ones.
5. Keep your gutter clear of snow
One of the biggest reasons gutters get frozen is that they’re filled with snow. If there’s no room for the water to flow through, it can’t escape, especially when it’s freezing outside! Make sure that you keep your gutters clear year-round so that the ice doesn’t build up and start causing problems during winter.
6. Install a drain grate or ice shield
If you want to install a drain grating, make sure that you get one that is made specifically for gutters. The best ones are made from a plastic material and are meant to hold any snow, ice particles or debris that may fall down into the gutter. The drain grates come in several types and styles to suit different needs and are designed especially for your home.
7. Use frozen rags
Sometimes large chunks of ice can build up on the sides of your gutters and not be able to melt away due to the protective coating around it. If this happens, you might need to use something called “frozen rags. The frozen rags are pieces of cloth that you can use to shield your hands while you chip away at the ice.
8. Call a professional
If you have gutters and your house is located in a cold area, you may want to consider getting gutter protection installed that can prevent this from happening again. That way, everything should be protected from freezing and won’t cause any damage to your home or grounds. The best part about gutter protection is that it’s usually a one-time investment for lifetime protection for your gutters.
9. Use antifreeze
You can also use antifreeze as an extra line of defense against ice build-up in your gutters during the winter months. Just pour a little bit of antifreeze in the gutter, and it should melt away any ice that might form. You can also use hot water instead of antifreeze; just be careful not to get the water or antifreeze on the siding of your house or anything else around your gutters.
10. Get a gutter guard
Another widely used method to keep your gutters from freezing is installing a gutter guard. A gutter guard is a special piece of plastic that’s placed in front of your gutters to prevent any debris from getting caught in the gutter, which can cause it to freeze. A gutter guard can also help deal with leaves and other yard debris that might be removed on a regular basis, preventing them from getting all over your yard.
11. Avoid flash freezing
When ice starts to build up in your gutters and freezes, you end up with what is known as flash freezing. With this method of freezing, it can cause a chain reaction and start forming ice on the rest of your landscaping and siding. To prevent this from happening, you can use 25- to 50-pound bundles of straw when it’s colder outside, which can help insulate your gutter. Just make sure that you’re careful not to get any bundle on the side of your house, or else it’ll cause an even bigger problem.
12. Use heating cables
Instead of using bundles of straw or antifreeze for insulation, you could try using heating cables instead. The cables are made of PVC and contain thermal elements, which allow them to transfer the heat from inside your house and into your guttering. Just make sure that you use a heating cable and not a heating pad because they can get too hot and cause burning or damage to your roof, siding or gutters. The heating cable should have a flow rate of 150-200 gpm.
13. Use a drain cleaner
If you’re having a problem with your gutters clogging up and causing damage, you can install a proper drain maintenance system. There are also automatic drain maintenance systems that can be installed on your roof to help prevent clogging from happening in the first place.
14. Get some slotted covers
If you want to keep your gutter free of leaves and other yard debris, you can install some slotted covers. The slotted covers are installed on the ends of your gutters and allow water to pass through. You can also use them in place of the drain grates to prevent water from flowing into your guttering during the winter months.
15. Avoid Salt and Sharp Objects
Salt will cause your gutters to corrode and become damaged as well. Also, sharp objects can easily penetrate your gutters, causing them to become damaged. If you use these objects regularly without knowing, then it can actually damage the integrity of your gutters and lead to you having a difficult time finding the best gutter cleaning service near you.
If you take these 15 steps, then your gutters and exterior of your home should be protected from the cold and frozen during the winter months. With regular maintenance and by using the appropriate solutions, you should be fine. Just remember that if you need professional help at some point during winter, make sure that you hire a professional who has the right experience and is fully equipped to handle problem-causing objects that are near your gutters.