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Gutter Ice Removal Service & All You Need to Know about Ice-Filled Gutters

Same-Day Gutter Ice Removal Service Near You – Melting Gutter Ice with Safe Steam

Homeowners call Ice Dam Guys® for only a few reasons: they’ve got an ice dam that’s caused a roof leak already, they’ve got an ice dam and do not want to risk roof leaks, or they’ve got gutters stuffed with ice.  Ice dams and ice-filled gutters are not the same thing, but both problems tend to be two sides of the same coin: too much snow on a roof that’s too hot, causing water to pool up and refreeze where it shouldn’t.

In either case the solution can be as simple as a call to Ice Dam Guys®, the best-rated ice dam removal / gutter ice removal company in the US.  You can call us now to check whether we’re in your area already, or you can read on to find out more about gutter ice.

Ice-filled gutters

When do you need gutter ice removal?

You need the ice removed from your gutters if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • Your gutters are sagging
  • Your gutters are bulging – stuffed with ice
  • A thick layer of ice is sitting on top of your gutters, straddling the roof overhangs
  • Your downspouts appear blocked, frozen solid with ice
  • You can’t rake the snow off of your roof overhangs – easily or at all – because the gutter ice is so thick
  • The ice behind the gutters – on your overhangs, higher up your roof – seems to get thicker over time

Why does ice form in gutters and downspouts?

3 main factors cause gutters and downspouts to freeze:

  1. How much water flows into the gutters. Melting snow (caused by a warm roof, a warm day, or just sun) or an unseasonable rain storm can fill your gutters with water.
  2. How cold the gutters are.  The colder they are, the sooner any runoff water will freeze.
  3. How clogged the gutters are.  Though clean gutters still can collect ice, leaves and other debris can prevent or slow the flow of water, making a freeze more likely.

Examples & photos of ice-filled gutters

Bulging, ice-stuffed gutter

Close-up photo of frozen gutters

Thick ice and snow on frozen gutters

Frozen gutters with icicles

Frozen gutters with frozen downspouts

What does ice buildup on gutters mean?

Technically, all the ice buildup means is that very cold gutters are subjected to way too much water (from melting snow), or the gutters are clogged with debris, or both.

In practice, frozen gutters usually mean something is causing a lot of snow to melt.  Usually a warm roof (due to poor attic insulation and/or ventilation) causes the snow to melt, refreezing once it hits your overhangs and gutters.

So do frozen gutters mean you have an ice dam?  Not always, but they’re a pretty reliable sign that you may have already an ice dam, or you’ll get one (and a lot of headaches) soon.

Gutters freeze all the time on ice-dam-free roofs.  Usually that’s because they’re clogged with leaves and similar flotsam.  Clear your gutters a couple of times a year and they probably won’t freeze, unless you get an ice dam.  If you do get an ice dam, your gutters probably will freeze around the same time – whether or not you cleared them during the fall.

Do gutters cause ice dams?

No, gutters do not cause ice dams. Ice dams form whenever snow melts, runs down to a colder part of your roof, and refreezes.  The coldest parts of a typical roof are the overhangs and the valleys.  Gutters just happen to be neighbors to your overhangs.  If you have an ice dam, you’d have an ice dam even if you didn’t have gutters.

Gutters do have an effect on ice dams, in that they extend your overhang .  Gutters add space for ice dams to grow, and more surface area for ice dams to stick onto.  But they do not cause ice dams to form; they just allow ice dams to grow a little bigger.

Again, frozen gutters usually are just a symptom of the same problem that causes ice dams to form: too much melting snow.

Is gutter ice dangerous?

Yes, but only if your gutters are so loaded with the ice that they rip free from the soffit and come crashing down.  Other than that possibility (which we see happen all the time), ice in your gutters mostly is not dangerous.  In effect gutters extend your roof’s overhangs, so in theory more snow and ice might sit on your roof than if you didn’t have gutters.  But we never get to a customer’s home, see frozen gutters, and think, “Yeah, this really IS an emergency.”  You’re most likely to get hurt by gutter ice in trying to remove it yourself and getting beaned by an icicle in the process, or by a falling ice-filled gutter.

Do gutters cause roof leaks?

No, because gutters don’t hold water on top of your shingles.  Ice dams, on the other hand, do cause water to pool on your roof, and that water may leak through your shingles and roof deck and into your home.

How do you melt ice in frozen gutters?

The only way to melt or clear all the ice in frozen gutters is to steam them (though in some cases it can be even faster to use extremely hot water).  Either way, that takes a while – as in it can easily add hours to an ice dam removal job.

How can you prevent your gutters from filling with ice?

By doing two things: (1) clear your gutters a couple of times a year (especially in late fall), and (2) rake your roof, so as to minimize the amount of snow left sitting on your roof that can melt and run down to your gutters.

Should you put salt or ice-melt in frozen gutters?

No.  Salt or an ice-melt chemical usually won’t prevent your gutters from freezing, and it certainly won’t lessen your ice dam problem or the probability that ice dams form.  Salt will only make a mess and damage your lawn, landscaping, and potentially cause certain roofing or gutter components to rust or oxidize.

Do gutter guards prevent ice dams?

No.  In fact, gutter guards make ice dams harder to remove.

Do frozen gutters make ice dam removal difficult?

Somewhat.  Most often they make ice dam removal take longer.  They’re another area where ice can sit, and usually we need to steam out your gutters before we can get to the rest of the roof.  That’s because we want to cut chunks of ice off of your roof and give the chunks a clear pathway to slide off.  That is more difficult if your gutters have gutter guards or if they’re made of copper.

Frozen gutters? Call Ice Dam Guys®

Call us at 1-800-423-3267 if you have frozen gutters and/or ice dams and live anywhere in the lower 48. We are properly licensed, bonded, and insured, and are the top-rated ice removal company in the US. You can end the leaks with a phone call to Ice Dam Guys®.

Call 1800-ICE-DAMS

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