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Albany Roofers: Article About Protecting Gutters From Snow and Ice

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During the winter, a home's gutter system is susceptible to damage from snow and ice. Ice dams and snow that "avalanches" off the roof can rip gutters off the home, often taking fascia and soffits with them. By providing homeowners with preventative maintenance, troubleshooting inspections and winter roofing chores, experienced Albany roofers can help homeowners avoid problems with their gutter system.

One method of protecting a home's gutters from snow as it slides off the roof is to remove the snow. Roof rakes allow homeowners to remove snow from the roof's lower edges without climbing a ladder. Many models are available at home improvement stores. The best kinds use wheels to lift the blade at least two inches above the roof's surface. This prevents accidental damage to frozen shingles. Homeowners should also choose a model that employs a chute that causes the raked snow to fall away from the home's gutters and foundation.

It is imperative that homeowners never manually shovel snow from atop the roof. Doing this is extremely dangerous and could result in serious injury or death. The safest, most effective snow removal option is to have it done by an experienced roofer. These professionals have the right tools to perform the task safely and effectively.

Some roofers recommend the use of snow guards.

The roofing contractors at Ideal Construction of Albany can assist you with any questions regarding windows or doors.

Snow guards are used to keep large sheets of snow from unexpectedly sliding off the roof and taking the gutters with them. These pieces of plastic or metal typically measure two by three inches and are mounted at intervals on the roof's lower edge. Their size does not prohibit the use of a roof rake.

Snow removal can also prevent the formation of ice dams; however, this is only a temporary solution. Unless homeowners address the underlying cause of ice dam formation, they will return every year. The chief cause of ice dams is an overheated attic. Lack of adequate ventilation can cause heat to build up inside the attic, which in turn, heats the decking and causes accumulated snow to melt and refreeze at the eaves. An inspection by a roofing professional could reveal intake vents that have been obstructed by poorly installed vinyl siding or insulation. The need for more exhaust vents can also contribute to a hot attic. Although it is best to have these types of inspections done before winter sets in, it is never too late in the season to give the roof a "once over" to make sure it is able to face the winter.

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