Leaves and debris can clog the gutters and downspouts,
which can lead to overflow in heavy rainfalls or create additional, ice backup
issues once the snow starts to fall. Always make certain that the downspouts
are flushed by inserting a garden hose into the outlet for a minute or two to
ensure they are not backing up.
Ice backup issues are commonly caused by
inadequate or improperly installed attic insulation. Check your attic to make
sure that the insulation is evenly distributed and has not been disturbed
during the course of year. Bare spots from people walking or working in the
attic can cause “hot spots” that allow hot air to escape from the living area
and heat the underneath roof decking. This process will cause the snow on
the upper roof to melt and possibly freeze at the gutter edge, which can lead to ice damming.
If your house has been susceptible to leaking caused
by ice backup in the past, it may be wise to invest in a snow rake. Raking the
roof clean of snow at the bottom edges after a large snowfall will allow the
melting snow to drain into the gutter and not rest behind the frozen wall of ice.
Check your roof with a good pair of binoculars to ensure
that you are not missing any shingles. Missing or damaged shingles should
be replaced to prevent leaking.
If ice backup has been a chronic problem it may be
best to utilize a set of deicing roof cables. Cables come in either outlet ready
sets or hardwire options. It is recommended to have a certified electrician
look at the connection options at your house to ensure the set will work
appropriately. Moisture and temperature gages are available with certain
sets, which help maximize the efficiency of the cables by electronically
turning them off based on the weather conditions.
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