Metal Gutter Guards and Ice Buildup

Metal gutter guards and ice buildup can be a regular problem, especially with poorly managed attics during cold winters in Calgary. This problem begins when warm air enters the roof space from the rooms beneath, and melts the snow on the roof.

The snow melt flows down until it meets the roof overhang, and eavestroughs beyond the roof space. There it freezes solid and forms an ice dam on the edge, against which the melt dams with potential for forming a leak.

Of course if the roof space were properly insulated and ventilated, then the snow would be more likely to stay put until it melted naturally under the warming rays of the sun. Then it would be less likely to form an ice dam over the eaves, but there is one exception.

Metal Gutter Guards and Ice Buildup the Exception to the Rule

If there’s one thing that could be even more irritating, it’s the buildup of leaves and wind-blown debris in eavestroughs in autumn. The first spring rains wash these into the down pipes, where they block the flow and cause over-flooding of the troughs.

Leaf gutter guards can help reduce this problem, although they don’t completely eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. In theory, any moisture should flow onto the gutter guard, and find its way through the openings into the trough.

But there is one exception to this well-thought-out rule you should know about. If the gutter guard is made of thin metal sheet, it is going to chill below freezing level on a cold winter day.

In fact, if you climbed up a ladder you could literally see the melt freezing over, as it touches the thin metal. If you had the patience and the time, you might even see an ice dam developing and growing.

Three Ways You Could Stop This Pain Happening

Metal gutter guards and ice buildup are the result of poorly insulated or badly ventilated roofs, or both. Or the leaf guard metal freezing, or all three of those things. Valiant Exteriors are acknowledged experts in roofing and eavestrough systems. Give us a call at (403)829-1661 if we can assist.

We won’t charge to come out and quote, and we’ll bring photos and samples so you can gauge the quality of our work. We are COVID-19 aware and we clean up properly after ourselves. This could be some of the reasons our order book keeps growing.

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Image: Extreme Ice Dam: Herzi Pinki BY CC 3.0