It’s no secret – it can be blistering cold here in Lynchburg during wintertime. We can experience daytime highs in the 30s and overnight temperatures in the teens. Mix freezing temperatures with precipitation, and there’s a potential for light to moderate snowfall and ice storms throughout the season.
All of this winter precipitation lands on the exterior of our homes, settling on the roof and the gutter system. Even a little snow settling into a gutter system can cause damage if it’s left to collect all winter, leading to ice dams and clogged gutters. Many homeowners question whether they should install heated gutter guards to protect against winter threats. Today we’re going to explain if heated gutter guards work so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to install them.
What are Heated Gutter Guards?
Heated gutter guards most often have a cable or other component that can heat up and melt snow and ice that’s collected inside of a gutter system. They’re designed to melt snow and ice rather quickly to ensure icicles and ice dams don’t occur.
Ice dams are a common and dangerous nuisance each winter here in Lynchburg. They’re thick pieces of ice that collect around the edges of sloped roofs. They form when heat produced from inside a house melts the accumulated snow on a roof. As a result, meltwater has nowhere to drain, so it’s constantly freezing, melting, and refreezing resulting in ice dams. They can cause injuries and costly damage to your home if left untreated.
Heated gutter guards are supposed to melt snow and other freezing precipitation so that water can drain through the gutters and into the downspouts, never allowing meltwater to freeze and refreeze to avoid forming ice dams.
Do Heated Gutter Guards Really Work?
Unfortunately, heated gutter guards aren’t that effective at preventing ice dams. They can exacerbate the melting and refreezing of snow and ice, causing even more ice dams. The heated component inside of a heated gutter guard is only able to heat the section that it’s placed over, so there will most likely be ice and snow surrounding the melted section.
Heated gutter guards can do more harm than good. Depending on the type of heated gutter guard that was installed, they can become a fire hazard. They’re also going to rack up your energy bills since electricity is required to turn on the heat.
How Can I Prevent Ice Dams?
First, rather than install heated gutter guards, figure out the source of the issue. Ice dams form when heat produced from inside a house melts the accumulated snow on a roof, so the issue lies within the home. Perhaps there isn’t adequate insulation in the attic. If you’re unsure, a great place to start preventing ice dams is to contact an insulation company to examine your current insulation and provide an estimate for fixing it.
Next, you’ll want to keep your gutters as clean as possible. You could be seeing ice dams as a result of untidy or clogged gutters. When a gutter has debris trapped inside of it during the winter months, snow and ice that melt off the roof trickle into the gutter but can’t freely flow through and into the downspout. The result is stagnant water that’s left to collect, freeze, melt, and refreeze during the winter months, accelerating the formation of ice dams. Keep your rain gutters clean to avoid costly damage.
Rather than install heated gutter guards, opt for installing gutter guards such as K-Guard Gutter Guards. K-Guard is a complete system with a curved hood that keeps debris out, only allowing water to enter through a narrow drainage channel. No debris means no chance for clogs, so water can flow freely throughout the gutter system at a rapid pace, helping to avoid disasters like ice dams. Besides preventing ice dams, K-Guard has other benefits like requiring zero maintenance, adding curb appeal, and offering the durability of lasting for the life of the home.
So, do heated gutter guards really work? While they can melt some snow and ice inside of the gutter, they are quite a hassle for homeowners. There are other options to protect your home from the disasters of winter like installing K-Guard.
If you’re in the market for a new gutter system, contact us for a free estimate. Our gutter options are top-of-the-line and, unlike other gutter systems, offer extreme protection. In addition to K-Guard, we can install seamless gutters as well as our Xtreme mesh gutter guard system which is a surgical-grade stainless steel mesh that will block even tiny debris, such as pine needles and leaves, from entering your gutters while still allowing rainwater and meltwater to filter through and be diverted away from your home.
K Guard / One Stop Home Improvement Shop is an authorized installer for the K-Guard Leaf Gutter Guards. We’re located in Lynchburg, Virginia and we cover the surrounding areas. Contact us today for a free estimate.