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How to Get Rid of Ice in Gutters

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi May 12, 2019
How to get rid of ice in gutters? People living in places where winters are prevalent would be very interested to know effective methods for ice removal from their roof gutters. Let's learn some effective and easy methods for the same...
If you reside in a location where heavy snowfall is a common part of the winter, then you must have experienced some problems with the ice getting accumulated on the roof. This formation of ice over roofs is known as ice dams and it is one of the biggest problems that homeowners face.
Ice also gets accumulated in the gutters of the roof which causes a blockage. This situation becomes even worse if the roof is installed with metal gutters. It's impossible to get rid of frozen gutters and ice dams but there are some things which can be done to minimize the damage caused by it.
Most people rarely think about ice in gutters until it starts to create problems in their house. Gutters are mainly designed to catch rainwater, melted ice, and debris, and direct them away from the house. If you keep the gutters clean and well maintained, they work absolutely fine.
During the cold months, they tend to get clogged due to snow, and so the excess garbage accumulating in the gutters can be a cause of leakage. Water from the gutters is responsible for losses worth millions in many places. Houses and commercial properties can suffer from water stained ceilings, displaced roof shingles, spoiled paint and damaged plaster.

Prevent Ice in Gutters

No one would like the idea of bringing a ladder out in the cold and climbing it to clean the gutters. However, if you allow the ice to build up in the gutters, you are indirectly allowing a solid ice foundation build up which will result in an ice dam later.
So why wait till winter to remove ice from the gutters? Why not be smart and prevent it from happening from the start? Here's what you need to do.

Usage of Heat Tape

Once you've freed the gutters from unwanted material, using heat tape is the best option to prevent ice from forming in the gutters. Heat tape is a long strip of electrically heated rubber cable available in various lengths according to the customer's requirements.
It has a three pin plug at one end which needs to be plugged in a ground fault circuit interrupter circuit which is properly installed. The heat tape can then be placed in the bottom of the gutter or many people also hang the tape with clips along the side of the gutter, but it should be near the bottom area.
Heat cables are safe to use and work very well on both metal and plastic gutters. Manufacturers will offer different types of control for activating the heat tape but the most recommended is the thermostat control. The thermostat control activates the tape when the temperature falls below a certain level.
The heat generated prevents ice from getting accumulated on the gutters. Don't forget heat tape is only helpful for preventing ice formation in the gutter, it shouldn't be used to melt the ice which has been already formed.

Usage of Calcium Chloride

For gutters that have been already clogged with ice, take an old piece of cloth and fill it with calcium chloride. Close the cloth by tying knots. Now remove the excess ice from the gutters with a broom and place the cloth filled with calcium chloride on the ice.
The calcium chloride will melt through the ice by making ditches and the melted ice will flow away cleaning the gutters. Many people also tend to use rock salt for meting gutter ice. This practice should be avoided as rock salt is corrosive and damages metal gutters.
Hope this information on removing ice from gutters has proven helpful. If you find any of the given options challenging, it's better to call a professional and let him take care of the situation.