How Gutter De-Icing Systems Work
Gutters are one of the most overlooked aspects of the home. Homeowners disregard their presence, perhaps only cleaning them once in the fall and spring, or repairing them when they are damaged.
In areas susceptible to heavy snow and harsh winters, gutters face significant challenges that need to be addressed proactively. Colorado regularly experiences harsh winter weather that can wreak havoc on gutters.
Ice dams easily build in gutters as layers of precipitation freeze on top of one another, blocking water drainage until it melts. Icicles often form underneath gutters, posing a danger for those walking underneath.
When spring arrives, the melting slush on the roof can cause water damage in the upstairs of your house and the gutters themselves may collapse under the ice’s heavy weight.
Repairing roof and plaster damage is far more expensive than preventing problems in the first place. Some people attempt home remedies, but the quick, easy fixes may actually be causing serious damage to your roof.
Salt-based de-icers, especially sodium chloride, can corrode your shingles and wear away the water barriers protecting your home. Roofing nails are galvanized, and will erode even fabric barriers filled with sodium or calcium chloride. Professionally installed de-icing systems are a much safer and more effective alternative.
Why De-Icing Systems Benefit You
There are two excellent types of safe, de-icing systems: gutter heat tape, and heated gutter covers. Both are effective because they quickly melt ice without harming your house’s exterior, though heated tape has developed a bad reputation over the years.
Older systems used the filament in light bulbs to melt the snow, but they were prone to burning out after one or two seasons of use. New heating technology uses intertwined cables covered with a conductive carbon polymer.
The polymer’s conductivity increases as the temperature drops, which means your system relays heat across the surface quickly and commensurate with the weather.
New cable and tape systems are also far more robust, lasting up to 15 years. The cables are “smart” and will adapt to the outside temperature by delivering the correct amount of energy to reduce problems like ice dam formation and water damage.
The other option, heated gutters, are more effective than the heated tape because they also keep your water channels free of dirt, debris, and fallen leaves. Heated gutters can also be installed in conjunction with the tape to eliminate icicle formation underneath the system and prevent ice from blocking the down spout.
Find Installation Help
De-icing systems use grounded heating shields to protect the equipment and still melt ice. Equipment needs to be installed according to the manufacturer’s standards, relieving all safety concerns and upholding product warranties. Improperly installed systems may work incorrectly, or could even damage your home.
Colorado Seamless Gutters can install our top-of-the-line heating cables or gutter covers with all the expertise and care that you deserve.
To protect your gutters, clean out the debris in late autumn and contact us to develop an effective de-icing plan. We can order heated covers to fit any size gutters.
If you would like help finding the best solution for your gutters, give us a call today to set up a free inspection!
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