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Gutter Guards – Do They Cause Ice Dams?

Some wonder if gutter protection is a contributing factor to ice problems. 

Gutter Protection, Guards, And Cover:

It is possible for some gutter protection systems to be the cause of an ice dam. Here are some reasons why: They may have a lack of durability. A cubic foot of ice weighs approximately 60 lbs. If the gutter guards are not strong enough to withstand this weight, they will buckle into the gutter system creating an obstacle. When this happens, an ice dam forms and causes potential damage to the home. Reverse curve gutter covers quickly freeze on the top and in the opening of the nose of the guard. When this happens, there is no place for the water to go and a dam forms. This generally contributes to very large icicles. Raking the snow off a roof will only have marginal success, as the opening on the front nose is still frozen. When this occurs, it closes off any area for the water to enter and evacuate naturally to the ground.

Micro screen aluminum gutter guard covers are a better choice. Ice and snow can build up, but they are easier to roof rake over the reverse curve covers. The ice and snow melt quickly once the screen is visible to the sun. This allows the water to flow and keep the gutter system from icing up. 

Heated gutters guards are the best choice as they melt any ice or snow immediately and never allow the ice dam to form. They are higher in cost than conventional gutter covers but are the first choice in areas where ice and snow are a way of life. Not only do they work well, but they eliminate constant damage from ice and snow.

How can ice dams be prevented?

Warm the edge of the roof line with IceArmour – Ice Melt Heat or Valley Panels. If the ice dam starts or is isolated to your gutters system, AWA IceBreaker is your best solution. Visit the different products on this website or give us a call at 888-654-4942.