How to clean frozen gutters? If you look for an answer to this question, you probably already know how dangerous frozen gutters are. The risks related to this winter phenomenon include heavy ice damaging the gutters, ice dums creation, and house interior water damage. It’s of utmost importance to thaw the icy gutters to make sure this all doesn’t happen. Keep reading to learn how to do it effectively, as well as take away some useful tips on preventing gutters from getting frozen.
Thaw the ice with hot water
Well, probably the cheapest way of unclogging the gutters in winter is giving them a hot bath. Fill some buckets with hot water and gently pour them over the frozen gutters. Since the gutters are as high as the roof edge, you want to use a ladder to reach them out. Do not rush. Do everything calmly and slowly as if you had all the time in the world.
Remember that the heavy bucket can make you lose balance when climbing on the ladder. Not to mention the skin burns you risk to get if you spill hot water on you. That’s why, act with extreme caution. It would be great if you had a helper to hand you the bucket over as you climbed to the top of the ladder.
Pour the water on the ice until it melts. It’s not necessary to go over all the length of the frozen gutter. Remove the ice by sections, thawing the edges of each virtual section, then removing it. If the section is still stuck to the gutter, let some water sip through the edges of the gutter.
St.Louis Pressure Wash suggests you a safer way of thawing frozen gutters with hot water. It implies using a hose, which will not have you carry heavy buckets on the ladder. Hold the hose above the gutters and let the hot water thaw the ice. Make your life easier by working in sections.
Thaw the ice with steam
If you have a steam cleaner handy, you are in luck. It can also be an answer to “how to clean frozen gutters?” You can melt the ice with this appliance faster than with hot water, given steam’s higher temperature. Climb on the ladder and turn the steam cleaner on, making sure it faces the ice. In a couple of seconds, you will see rivers of water flowing down your gutters. When working with a steam cleaner, safety must be top priority. Prevent the device from interacting directly with water, as it can cause a short circuit.
Use Calcium Chloride
When the first thin coat of ice forms on the gutter surface, you still have time to prevent a full-to-the-brim gutter. You can do it by applying a generous amount of Calcium Chloride in it. This salt will keep ice from forming, preserving your gutters clean and lightweight. Of course, it will be your victory against the frost if you sprinkle Calcium Chloride in the gutters before the winter comes. This way, not even a thin layer of ice will have the chance to form in the gutters when frost strikes.
Tips to prevent frozen gutters
1. Remove snow from the roof
To minimize roof and gutters freezing, you have to remove the snow from them as often as possible. Ideally, clear the snow off the roofing parts after each snowfall. In this way, you prevent icing, saving time on thawing it and repairing the gutters.
2. Unclog the gutters
Most of the time, ice on gutters can be prevented if gutters are totally clean and allow for water to flow through them fast. If there is a blockage on its way, water will accumulate in the gutter and turn static – a perfect state for freezing if the temperature is low enough. Keeping this risk in mind, Quarve.com suggests you to thoroughly clean your gutters in fall.
3. Keep the gutters properly sloped
Water can pool in the gutter even when the gutter is clean. There can be no leaves, debris, mud and tree twigs inside but the water be static. It is possible when the gutter is improperly sloped. Better said, when it has no slope at all or is sloped in the opposite direction.
If the gutter is perfectly parallel to the ground, water will pool and freeze in fierce winter days. If it’s sloped in the wrong direction, it will move backwards getting into the house foundation. Make sure to adjust the gutters under an angle that allows the water to drain through them at ease. This will be an important step to keeping icing at bay.
4. Install gutter guards
To be sure that your gutters never freeze, install special guards on them. They keep cold and snow away from the gutters, preventing their icing. The guards can be used not only when winter hits, but also in sunny summer days. They keep insects, leaves and twigs from getting into the gutters and hindering the waterflow. It’s not a big deal installing gutter guards, but if you want the job to be done perfectly, hire a team of roofing professionals.
5. Install heated cables
If ice still forms on your gutters, those from AHC Gutters&Painting recommend to install heated cables. Their role is to melt the ice as soon as it makes its presence felt on the gutter. Although this investment saves you time on melting the ice with hot water, sprinkling Calcium Chloride, and removing the snow from the roof, it increases your electricity bill. So before you buy heated cables, make sure your budget is ready to withstand the additional costs.
If you want to learn how to clean frozen gutters, there are some effective methods you can try. Hot water and steam are the best weapons against gutters ice. Make sure, though to follow the safety precautions to prevent an accident when working at the height of the roof. If you are busy, afraid of heights, or not sure of your ice thawing skills, ask for professional help.