If you have icicles hanging from your gutters, you could be looking at serious roof repair in the very near future. Those icicles mean that there is ice damming up in your gutters and the water from thawing is not going down your drainpipe. That water has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, it will wick itself right up into your roof rafters and can even damage the roof structure itself. If you have icicles hanging from your gutters, go up into your attic or crawl space to make sure there is no water damage on the rafters. This water damage will freeze and thaw causing stress on your roof structure. Also, be sure to check around windows directly below the icicles because our bow window leaked inside the house. If you see any water in your attic, be sure to have a roofing contractor come out and take a look at possible repairs instead of waiting until your roof starts to leak.
A gutter ice dam will form if your gutters are in the shade or their temperature is at or below 32 degrees. If more chilled water flowing down from the snow melting off your roof hits the ice already forming in your gutters, it starts to build a layer of ice in your gutters. This can happen very quickly, and the buildup of ice can grow an inch or more an hour just like an ice maker in your refrigerator.
Installing gutter caps can minimize ice-damming under the fascia or under the first row of your shingle roof. gutter caps are mounted over the first row of shingles and under the second row because the second row is usually insulated in the attic of your house, where the edge (first row) is not. If the ice-damming happens often in your gutters, you may want to think about heater caps. Heater caps mount on the top of your gutter protection and in the gutters themselves. A heat cable is also fed into your downspouts. The heat cable is hard wired into your circuit breaker. Since the cable is hard-wired, keeping the snow and ice out of your gutters is as easy as flipping a switch! The installation can be done on partial or whole house applications. Once a heater cap is installed, your existing gutter system will now flow freely and your roof drainage system will protect against ice and snow build-up.
Written by Robin Cormier
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3765155