It’s not a rhetorical question but it might as well be. For those of you who don’t know what ice dams are or how they form, here’s a quick rundown: When there’s snow on your roof, it melts because the hot air inside your home rises and warms the roof. As the water from the melted snow runs down into your gutters (which hang on the eave and don’t have a toasty-warm house beneath them), it refreezes. This cycle of melting and refreezing repeats and eventually your gutters get clogged up with ice and a lip of ice forms along the edge of your roof. The snow on your roof continues to melt, but now, since the water can no longer reach the gutters, it starts to back up on your roof, which is not a problem you want to have.
So, can heated gutters help to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place? Absolutely.
With a heated gutter system, when the snowmelt runs down your roof, it will be less likely to refreeze when it reaches the gutters. In fact, you can have heat cable installed inside your gutter trough as well as inside your drop outlets and downspouts to ensure that this water keeps flowing until it exits the downspout a safe distance away from your home. Heat cable (which is sometimes called heat coil, heat tape, or roof deicing cable) can also be installed in a serpentine pattern along the edge of the roof to further reduce the refreezing of runoff.
In addition to protecting against ice dams, heated gutters can also inhibit the accumulation of snow and ice on the gutters themselves, which spares them from having to carry extra weight. Another effective way to reinforce your gutter system against the added weight of snow and ice is to outfit them with heavy-duty gutter guards, such as Gutter Helmet®, that will enhance the rigidity of the entire system. For the best protection against ice dams, clogs, and damaged gutters, opt for Helmet Heat®, an innovative heated gutter cap that features Gutter Helmet® gutter guards with a built-in heating element.
Frankly, We Do Give a Dam—About Helping You Protect Your Home
To learn more about how heated gutters can help prevent ice dams from forming on your Colorado home, contact the professionals at Southwest Water & Ice Solutions today. We’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss the benefits of heat cable and the Helmet Heat® heated gutter system and help you make sure your home’s roofline is protected against the damaging effects of winter weather. As the area’s premier gutter experts, we proudly serve homeowners throughout Durango, Bayfield, Pagosa Springs, and neighboring communities.