Preventing Gutter Damage from Ice and Snow (Ice Damming)

20140218_145817If you live in the Northeast or Midwest, it seems like each winter brings heavier, more damaging snow falls that knockout power and bring communities to a standstill. One of the most important and troubling problems created by heavy snowfall is the damage that snow and ice cause to your home’s gutters.

One way that harsh winter weather can damage gutters is ice buildup. Ice buildup in your gutters prevents the flow of melted snow to your down spouts for proper drainage. The stacked up ice and snow causes the run off to flow over the lip of your gutters and create long icicles.

Another equally troubling problem are ice dams. Ice dams start when snow builds up on your roof. Over time, the snow will begin to melt, even if the temperature stays below freezing. The heat from within your home warms your roof and melts the snow from beneath. The run off then enters your gutters, which remain colder than your roof, and re-freezes, creating an ice dam that prevents proper drainage of the snow melt. With ice dams formed, overexposure to moisture is prolonged. As the ice slowly melts over time, water seeps beneath shingles, under the tar paper, and eventually into the plywood beneath, causing damage to your roof, fascia and soffit.

One way to prevent ice dams and buildup is to clean out your gutters prior to winter, after all the leaves have fallen from surrounding trees. Clogged gutters will only accelerate the process of ice damming and over flow when the gutters fill up with ice and snow. To keep the snow on your roof from melting, make sure your roof is well insulated, and that warm air is not escaping. Another way gutters are damaged from snow and ice is from bearing the excessive weight of a big snow fall. Even gutters that are adequately installed, using the proper material and size for your region, can succumb to the weight of snow and ice, and break away from their hangers and fall to the ground.

Strengthen your home’s gutters, and prevent not just ice and snow damage, but other gutter problems, and consider installing a Gutter Helmet® gutter protection system. Installed over new or existing gutters, Gutter Helmet® uses a patented bracketing hardware, customized to your home by a professional Gutter Helmet® installer, to reinforce and strengthen the load-bearing capacity of your existing gutters. With Gutter Helmet®, your gutters can support even the heaviest snow loads.

Helmet Heat® – The Self-Regulating Gutter Heating Solution


Helmet Heat® melts the snow and ice before it can form into damaging mounds of snow and ice weighing down on your roof and gutters. With Helmet Heat®, snow melts before it hits the edge of your roof, and flows down your rain gutters and downspouts. Damaging snow and ice buildup is averted.

Helmet Heat® is:

  • Energy efficient – heat only when it’s needed
  • Self-regulating – no monitoring necessary
  • Seamlessly installed – no unsightly wires

Learn more about Helmet Heat®.

Gutter Helmet® by Harry Helmet™ dealers and installers operate throughout the United States, serving Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Southern NJ, Northern NJ, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Northern Virginia, Seattle-Tacoma, Eastern Ohio, and Cleveland, OH. Find a dealer near you and inquire about a free estimate.