When the weather gets cold enough for ice to form, few things are safe from its wrath. Think about it. All of those potholes you complain about are due to its creation and then disappearance in the spring. Ice in gutters can cause a host of problems for you and your home. There are some things you can do to get rid of it. Here are ways to get that nasty ice out of your gutters.
- Get the snow off of your roof. You can get rid of the ice in gutters but unless you cut it off at the source, you will have a short reprieve before you have to do it again. Get yourself a snow rake and clear your roof of any and all ice and snow that is accumulating there. A snow rake is really just a regular rake with and end that can be extended and retracted. Be careful using this tool. You want your motion to be back and forth, not side to side as you can do damage to your shingles.
- Work on your ice buildup slowly. This is not something can get done in just a few minutes. You need to be patient with this process. You can use an awl or an ice pick but if you do not have one of those, you can use a hatchet or even a crowbar. Get a stable and reliable ladder and get into a safe position where you can begin to slowly chip at the ice. You can do this in stages. The key thing to remember is that you need there to be way for the water from ice and snow melting to get through.
- Try some chemicals. When you are working on ice in gutters, you can go to your local hardware or home improvement store and get some chemicals to clear your ice away. Be careful to follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Most often these products come in crystal form or a tablet. You should take care to pour an even amount over the ice in gutters. This will act slowly so do not expect anything to happen right away. Basically, these products are made from ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate or fertilizer from urea. These products will drain through your gutters with the melted ice.
- Try some warm water. This cannot work well if you do not take care of the underlying reason you are getting so much ice in gutters but it does work quickly and without the need for any harsh chemicals. Take some hot or warm water and put into a spray bottle. You can use a canister for fertilizer or a large spray bottle and coat the ice with the warm water. You should see results pretty quickly though you will have to repeat this pretty soon if you are not expecting warm weather.
It is hard to overstate the importance of taking good care of your gutters. If you neglect them and the ice makes gutters leak, you can be in for a host of problems. Your gutters are there to keep water from pooling around your foundation, where it can do a ton of damage to your home. When your home gets moisture in it from a roof leak or from a flood in your basement, you open yourself up to a host of expensive problems such as mold problems.
No one buys a house because they want to spend their time thinking about and then working on their gutters. Whether you are working to keep them clear of leaves and other debris or cleaning out ice in gutters, these tasks can be very important for the integrity of your home’s structure. Failure to keep on top of your gutter maintenance can also void your homeowner’s insurance policy and cost you a lot more in the long run.
The bottom line is that, if you live in a cold part of the country, it is in your best interests to take the time to look over your old gutters and keep out all of the ice, leaves, branches and other debris that can clog them up and cause problems.