THE Heated Gutter Company logo

A division of LeafGuard of Lake Erie and Bauer Specialty.

Do you have an issue with ice in winter? How about your home’s gutters? Are they doing well? Some people actually think icicles hanging from their eaves are a beautiful decoration for the season.  It’s nice of them to see that silver lining, but icicles are actually a sign of other problems and can potentially cause serious harm to buildings. Water damage from ice dams is a major concern for the inside of your home and on the outside the weight of huge ice pulling on your gutters, roof and fascia can have a cumulative effect to cause damage by bending gutters and metal as well as breakage of fascia and soffit boards.  In extreme cases rafter tails can even be cracked or sheared off.  Falling ice can smash items when it falls but an even greater worry is the liability of ice falling onto someone.

When it comes to ice problems in gutters, our first suggestion is to deal with the cause of the icicles. First look at improvements that can be made to insulation levels and air sealing of the attic.  If both of those are in good shape along with correct handling of ventilation then heat cable may be the solution you need.

Heat Tape and Ice Problems in the Gutters - heat tapes applied to gutters

Heat Cable can make a big difference on ice build up in freezing gutters.

We have found an excellent way to add heat cable to the LeafGuard system to help with ice buildup and minimize ice dams.  In most instances a run of heat cable under the hood, in the trough and down the downspouts of the LeafGuard system handles the snow melt from heat loss through the roof. The typical zig zag pattern of heat cable on the roof eaves may also be used to help areas with high potential for ice damming.

Heat Tape and Ice Problems in the Gutters - a cut-away view of a LeafGuard gutter

A cut-away view to see an example of how a heat cable is placed above the patented LeafGuard clip system and how it’s looped around to lay at the bottom trough of the gutter

The objective is not to melt all snow along the roof edge but rather to maintain a drip path for the melted snow to remain as water and drain away safely so it doesn’t enter the structure of the home.

If you have ice problems in the gutters in your home, business or place of worship please contact us for help to review your options. These visits are always free and our representatives will be able to help with a variety of possible solutions. Contact us at 814-898-8517 in Pennsylvania or 716-695-1010 in New York to schedule your visit or send us your info at our contact page.

Heat Tape and Ice Problems in the Gutters - zig-zag heat tapes

Heat tape making an impact on this home’s roof and gutter system

For the traditional zig zag of heat tape with an open gutter, notice how the snow is melted along the path of the tape, not the entire shingle area.  This is how it is intended to operate.  This may be used with our typical LeafGuard heat cable application if necessary.

K Gutter with and without ice buildup.

K Gutter (traditional open gutter) with and without ice depending on roof heat loss areas.

No ice on LeafGuard Gutter System

Here’s a well insulated home with LeafGuard gutters and no ice. Taken January 5, 2018 after Erie Pennsylvania received 4+ feet of snow and temperature was 10 degrees F.

 

 

Traditional open K style gutter filled with ice and resulting ice dam.

Traditional open K style gutter filled with ice and resulting ice dam. Taken January 5, 2018 after record snowfall in Erie PA.

 

1980s home with no ice on it's LeafGuard gutter system.

A home built in the 80s with a simple roof line and good insulation. No ice build up on heated portion of the home or unheated garage. Taken January 5, 2018.