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Downspout covered by snow.

Protect Your Gutters and Downspouts from Freezing Up in Winter

If you live in Indianapolis, IN, where it freezes in winter, and you have gutters on the roof, you need to keep them from freezing.

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Frozen gutters and downspouts are among the challenges homeowners across Indianapolis, IN, grapple with during the cold months. This phenomenon renders the guttering system ineffective, which is another way to say it won’t guide rainwater and melting ice and snow away from your home’s foundation. The situation could be much worse if ice dams form, as water will continue pooling on the roof and pour over the sides of your gutters. 

If water lingers on the roof longer than usual or runs down your home’s sides, there’s the risk a leak could develop. Ice buildup can also weigh down the gutters and make them detach. You will end up spending more than you would by having the gutters replaced.  

Is it possible to prevent water from icing up in the first place? Yes, it’s possible. We’ll show you the best ways of protecting your gutters and downspouts in the cold season. 

downspout icing up

How to Protect the Roof in the Winter 

Early spring and late fall can be particularly hard for your guttering system. During this time, temperatures swing from warm to cold. Rain starts to fall and then freezes. This can have a damaging effect on your gutters and roof. Here’s how you can keep snow and ice off the roof. 

Shovel the Roof 

Get a special roof rake and use it to remove snow from the roof before it melts and overwhelms the gutters. This tool will come in handy if you experience a blizzard. It will reduce the ice load on your roof and protect the guttering system. 

Clean Up the Roof and Gutters 

If you can keep the gutters from freezing in winter, you’ll avoid many of the problems that accompany it. Debris in the downspouts blocks the natural flow of water and freezes up, and this adds unnecessary weight to your roof drainage. 

The best way to unfreeze them is to clear out the debris and leaves that fall, accumulate, and obstruct water flow. Try to clean up the roof and gutters every six months. Hire a professional to perform the cleanups. This way, water will flow and not fall right through the sides of your gutters. 

Check Your Roof Insulation 

Make sure the roof is properly and adequately insulated. This way, the shingles or other roofing material stays cold, which prevents ice and snow from melting and overflowing from the gutters. 

Carry Out Roof Maintenance 

Have an old, weather-beaten roof? Call your local roofing contractor to perform routine checks and maintenance. They will examine the roof for a range of issues, including: 

  • Ventilation around the ridge and eaves 
  • Pinpointing areas that need insulation 
  • Inspecting and repairing the flash around the chimney 
  • Capping the attic hatches to prevent heat loss 
  • Sealing pipes, vents, and electrical cables 

Ensure Gutters Are Sloped 

Flat gutters will slow down the rate of water flow. Come evening, the falling temperatures will cause water to re-freeze. For water to flow down the downspouts, ensure the gutters slope slightly. The sloping method ensures water runs through the gutters quickly. 

Install a Heating Panel 

Another way to prevent future freezing is to install a heating panel on the roof, with wires running the entire length of the roof and downspouts. What this does is warm up the metal and prevent water from freezing. Typical installation costs range between $500 and $1,000, and this depends on the roof size. 

Some homeowners contemplate removing their downspouts during winter. Don’t follow suit. It’s highly likely you’ll experience winter precipitation or roof melt-offs. All this water needs to be channeled from the roof and away from your home’s foundation. Only a proper and functional downspout system can help you do this. 

If you’d like to waterproof your basement or repair the foundation before the cold weather arrives, get in touch with the experts at Indiana Foundation Service for a free basement inspection and quote. Our experts will perform necessary repairs before waterproofing your basement. This way, your basement will stay dry and mold-free all year round, not just in winter. 

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