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Morris County Roofers: Article About Ice and Gutters

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During winter, much of the damage that Morris County roofers are hired to repair is caused by snow and ice buildup on gutters. The weight of ice can pull a gutter right off a fascia board, and even if the gutters remain intact, ice can cause other problems, such as roof leaks and ice dams. If an area homeowner is experiencing an ice problem with their gutters, then he or she should schedule a professional roof inspection as soon as possible.

What many homeowners don't realize is that most ice problems related to a roof occur because of inadequate attic ventilation or insulation. Some combination of inadequate ventilation and insulation can cause the roof to remain overly warm, which causes snow and ice to melt and refreeze on the roof's surface. This is why there may be ice buildup on the gutters of one home but not on the gutters of neighboring homes. The attic is the first area that the contractor will inspect, and if it is the cause, it can often be corrected by installing ridge and soffit vents.

If the attic ventilation and insulation are adequate, then one potential solution is to install snow guards and eave flashing. Snow guards trap snow and ice higher up on the roof, and this slows the rate at which snow and ice exit the roof through melting.

The roofing contractors from Peter W Smith Construction of Morris County would be happy to answer any questions you have about roof repair or roof replacement.

Eave flashing is sometimes installed to help prevent against ice dams, and it can be used either alone or in combination with the snow guards to help prevent water from refreezing on certain sections of the roof.

Leaf guards for gutters can also serve as serve as snow guards. These screens can be simple or elaborate and can help limit the amount of snow and ice that accumulates on the gutters as well as help the snow and ice that's there melt away more efficiently. Note that this may increase the weight that the gutters will have to support, which may require an upgrade using gutter spikes, gutter screws or even tension cables.

Although normally reserved for the coldest environments, an extreme solution is to run heating cables through the gutters and downspouts. This installation is intended to be permanent, and there's usually a thermostatic control installed in the house so that system can be turned on only when needed and so that overheating doesn't occur. One of the benefits of this approach is that it helps avoid water from the downspout refreezing on sidewalks and driveways.

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