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Get Prepared: Will Ice Melt Socks Help Your Gutter Stay Clear in the Winter?

Icicles hanging from roof.
Ice is a problem for many homes in the winter months. What are your potential solutions?

The ice and snow of winter may not last forever, but it can cause damage to your home that sticks around all year. Icy roofs and gutters lead to ice dams that creep under your shingles, leading to problems such as loose shingles and leaks. How can you prevent ice damage? Are ice melt socks a good option for your roof?

What Are Ice Melt Socks?

Roof Calculator describes how ice dams form. “An ice dam can form when certain parts of the roof get warm enough to melt the snow on the roof, while the roof edges remain much colder, and as a result prevent the melted snow from flowing down the roof.” When ice and snow are building up on your roof, sometimes you feel the need for a quick solution. This Old House describes ice melt socks in this way: “Fill the leg of a discarded pair of pantyhose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter.”

This technique helps to melt and loosen snow and ice so that you don’t need to chip it off your roof. Hopefully, in this way, the ice will not damage your roof with either its weight or with a freeze-thaw process. While the solution isn’t specific to gutters, keeping the snow and ice on your roof thawed and moving can help it head into the gutters and downspouts and away from your roof.

Unfortunately, this is only a temporary and partial solution for snow and ice issues. Also, calcium chloride can be corrosive to certain metals. If your roofing nails get corroded, this could create a long-term problem for your roof. It’s not great for your plants either, so any water or ice that slides off the roof could end up damaging the soil and the plants below.

Person wearing patterned socks.
Do your gutters need some new socks or do they need something more?

Permanent Fixes for Ice Dams

While ice melt socks show some promise as a short-term solution, what you really need are solutions that prevent you from needing to panic about ice on your roof. If you can rest assured that during the next snowstorm, you’ll be covered, you can think about clearing the driveway and making some warm food rather than worrying about what’s up with your roof.

One long-term solution is to work on your attic insulation. Working on sealing, insulation, and ventilation prevents your roof from getting warm and melting snow and ice, which then leads to a freeze-thaw process that can damage your roof.

Another solution is to deal with the ice accumulation in your gutters so that it doesn’t creep up and damage your roof. To do this, you need to make sure that the water can stay in liquid form rather than turning to ice and blocking your gutters. Adding a gutter heating system to your home can help. Gutter heat keeps the water flowing through your gutters so that you can move water away from your roof, avoiding ice dams altogether.

At Harry Helmet, we help you make your home one that will move through all weather with ease. Learn more about Gutter Helmet; schedule a free estimate today.

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I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
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I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
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Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
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VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
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We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
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We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
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