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Alu-Rex > Eavestroughs and rain water management blog

Ice build-ups in rain gutters

Ice_roofAs winter progresses, homeowners may notice ice build-ups on the roof and in rain gutters. Below are the main causes for icicles along with options on how to solve your problem.

Causes of ice and icicles accumulation inside rain gutters

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Impacts of roof insulation and ventilation

Roof ice build-ups are mainly linked to problems with ventilation or insulation. Indeed, a poorly insulated or ventilated attic will cause heat to rise to the roof system and melt accumulating snow. When water seeps through the roof overhang and the rain gutter it freezes and creates an ice layer. Contrary to common beliefs, the installation of a leaf guard is not related to ice build-ups.

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Rain gutters with or without leaf guard: differences

In the case of rain gutters installed without protection, the problem is even more insidious as it takes longer to notice. Indeed, ice builds up inside the rain gutter and fills it until it can be seen from the ground, at which point ice will expand and distort the shape of the gutter as weather changes; thereby increasing the risk of infiltration. Eavestroughs equipped with a leaf guard will only allow for icicles to build up atop the gutter protection. This will make it visible much more quickly. Furthermore, when the ice melts, it will naturally go into the rain gutter as the latter will not have any ice build-up clogging it. The risk of infiltration will thus be considerably lower.

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Solutions to avoid ice accumulation inside eavestroughs

Ideally, you should see a professional who will guide you through the best solution for your roof system. He may in turn advise you to insulate the attic, change the soffit, or install a ventilation fan for better air circulation. Although several homeowners will opt for roof deicing cables, this does not consist of a reliable alternative to solve the problem. All they do is cover defects linked to ventilation and insulation. Therefore, given the gravity of the issue at hand, it is paramount to solve the actual problem first as it may lead to major water infiltration and damage your roof structure as well as your rain gutters.

In conclusion, ice builds up on the roof and in gutters because of poor insulation and ventilation. It is highly recommended to see a professional who will help you find a solution and who will help you avoid potential water infiltration in the roof structure along with any additional damage for that matter.

In Maintenance, Rain Water Management