K-Guard Kansas City Blog

K-Guard Gutters: Preparing for Snow and Ice

Suburban Home With Snow on Roof - K-Guard Heartland

You know the saying we Midwesterners have about our ever-changing weather: Don’t like the weather? Just wait five minutes! Kansas City residents should always be prepared for the possibility of snow and ice during these winter months, and one area you should make sure is protected from this damaging precipitation is your roof—more specifically, your gutters!


The Dangers of Snow and Ice on Gutters and Roof

If enough snow and ice are allowed to build up on your roof and gutters, it can cause all manner of problems, such as:

  • Roof and shingle damage
  • Water damage in your attic
  • Clogged gutters
  • Gutters bowing or pulling away from the roofline

The potential to form icicles and ice dams on your gutters and roofline makes snow of greater concern than rain. Kansas City’s winter temperatures can fluctuate widely, dipping below freezing at night and warming up a bit during the day. These temperature shifts, along with heat leaking through your roof from the attic, can cause snow to melt, shift down the roof, and then refreeze in shaded areas or after nightfall. As this ice builds up, it can form sharp icicles and thick ice dams on your gutters.


How to Prevent Ice Dams and Snow Build-up

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of snow building up and forming ice dams on your gutters. Ready to winterize your roof and gutters? Here are four ways to prepare for snow and ice in these final winter months:


1. Improve Attic Insulation

While you can’t do anything about fluctuating outdoor temperatures, you can take steps to keep your heat indoors! If the snow is melting and refreezing, even when temperatures remain below freezing, the source of the issue is likely warm air escaping from your attic and unevenly heating portions of your roof enough to melt the snow. Check your attic insulation for any gaps or poorly protected areas and add more insulation to any possible problem points.


2. Install Heating Cables

Snow will likely melt and refreeze to some extent on your roof, and attic insulation may not solve the problem. If you’re struggling to manage snow buildup on your roof or are noticing ice dams and icicles beginning to form, you might want to consider installing heating cables. These cables cause snow to melt and slide off your roof or flow into your gutters properly instead of stopping partway down and refreezing.

You can get heating cables at most hardware stores, but we highly recommend bringing in professionals for installation, as climbing on your roof is especially dangerous in snowy, icy conditions.


3. Remove Snow As Necessary

While how much snow your roof can handle depends on a few different factors, most roofs are unable to withstand more than 20 lbs per cubic foot. This comes out to anywhere between two and four feet of snow, depending on how packed down it is. Ice is a lot heavier, only needing about one inch of ice to hit that 20-lb limit. This makes it important to clear your roof of heavy snowfall in certain situations.

If you want to remove snow from your roof, invest in a roof rake! Ladders are dangerous enough without snow and ice making them even more slick, plus the weight of a ladder leaning against your gutters or roof will only add strain to something already weighed down by snow and ice.

When removing snow from your roof, be sure to leave an inch or two so you don’t scrape the roof rake along your shingles and risk damaging them. If you have a two-story home or find a roof rake inadequate to do the job, contact professionals for help. Your roofing company may be able to assist or else direct you to someone who can.


4. Have Your Gutters Cleaned

If your gutters have any debris inside—even if it’s not enough to fully clog water flow—it could slow water from melting snow down enough to give it time to refreeze inside of your gutter system. Keeping your gutters clean reduces the likelihood of icicles or ice dams forming by getting any melting snow and ice out quickly! Of course, the best way to guarantee clean, clog-free gutters is by investing in maintenance-free gutters that won’t ever clog.


K-Guard Gutter Systems are Your Best Choice All Year Round!

K-Guard Leaf-Free Gutter Systems are designed with the best gutter protection on the market to guarantee a clog-free and maintenance-free experience, significantly reducing your chances of icicles or ice dams forming. Be it rain, sleet, snow, or hail, you can trust your K-Guard gutters to keep your home safe from the dangers of water damage and treacherous ice. Contact us to learn more and get an estimate on a K-Guard gutter system for your home!


Related Articles