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Winston Salem Roofing: Article About Gutter Problems

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During the winter, many homeowners see melting water dripping off the gutters and refreezing overnight, creating miniature glaciers on their porches and sidewalks. Another common concern during freezing weather is the development of ice dams in the gutter system. Both of these roofing issues can be solved with some regular maintenance and work performed by a local reputable Winston Salem roofing service.

When ice develops in a home's gutters, there is usually a problem with the roof's ventilation. The home may not have enough ridge or soffit vents, or there may be a lack of insulation in the attic space. Heat escapes from within the house and gains access to the attic, melting snow or sleet just enough to allow it to become liquid, drip down into the gutter and then freeze again overnight. Water expands as it freezes, filling up the gutter and blocking the downspouts, creating an ice dam. A little more daytime melting may take place, allowing the liquid to either drip off the gutter and make a mess, or sneak up underneath the shingles and cause a roof leak.

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If ice has already formed in the gutters and is causing problems, homeowners do have a few temporary options to lessen the danger of leaks inside the house and of slip and fall accidents on the porch or sidewalk. One way to safely melt the ice is to install electric heating cables. Attach these to the exterior bottom part of the gutter. A switch turns the cables on, and heat is conducted through the aluminum, copper or steel gutter, melting the ice. Ideally, the cable should also be run down the length of the downspout so that the water can completely drain away from the home.

Another solution for homeowners is to put a small fan in the attic to dissipate heat. The fan aids ventilation and helps reduce melting and refreezing of snow. The property owners should turn the fan on any time there is snow on the rooftop. A fan is a quick and inexpensive fix until a roofer come perform a long-term fix.

The best permanent fix for ice buildup in gutters is to add insulation in the attic. The property owner may select from spray foam insulation, loose fill or rolled insulation. Sprayed foam has a high R value but requires professional installation. Loose fill also needs to be professionally installed but it is very environmentally friendly. Rolled insulation has a lower R rating but is easy and fast to install.

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