5 Crucial Tips on Unfreezing Gutters During Winter

November 15, 2023

With winter months now approaching, it’s only some time until your home transitions into a cozy haven. But while the inside of your house is warm and heated, the same can’t be said about the outside.

Depending on where you live, winter can have a harsh effect on buildings, causing a lot of property damage, such as frozen gutters and ice dams. When this happens, the drainage system of your house gets interrupted, leading to even more problems down the line. To find out how you can effectively unfreeze your gutters and ensure that your home stays damage-free, make sure to keep reading this blog.

Is It Normal for Gutters to Freeze in Winter?

Believe it or not, it is completely normal for gutters to freeze in winter, especially in colder climates. For areas that are prone to minus weather and see snow as well as ice accumulation, frozen gutters are a given. Not to mention, if you do not have gutter guards installed, it can make the situation so much worse.

Gutters freeze due to a sudden shit or drop in the temperature. This causes the water collected in your gutters to turn into ice, obstructing the flow of melted snow or rainwater. This ice buildup tends to lead to blockages and can potentially damage your gutter system. It is crucial to take action the moment ice starts forming on the surface of the gutter. The sooner you address the issue, the less problems you will have to face.

How to Unfreeze Gutters

Here are some of the most common yet easy methods to melt the blocks of ice on your gutter system.

  1. Invest in a Heating Cable
    Installing heating cables along your gutters and downspouts can be a big help since these cables emit gentle heat that prevents ice buildup. This can save you from the hassle of dealing with frozen gutters every other winter month.
  2. Try Store Bought Chemicals
    While store-bought chemicals aren’t the best route to take, but when you’re in a hurry, they can be your best friend. Look for products that contain calcium chloride or rock salt, as that helps to melt the ice and allows the water to flow freely again.
  3. Use a Hairdryer
    You can also try a more hands-on approach by grabbing your trusty hairdryer to physically melt the ice. All you have to do is set it to low heat and then aim it at the frozen area. Slowly move the dryer along the gutter, focusing on one section at a time. This method requires patience, but it’s an effective way to thaw the ice without causing damage to your drainage system.
  4. Pour Boiling Water on the Ice
    Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective. Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it over the frozen part of the gutter. The hot water will gradually melt the ice and restore the flow of water.
  5. Break the Ice Down
    If you have tried everything but nothing seems to work, your best option might be to physically tear down the ice. Use a heavy tool like a shovel or an ice pick to chip away at the frozen areas. However, it is important to be gentle, so you do not accidentally damage the gutter.

Bottom Line

All in all, winter may seem challenging, but with the right approach and patience, you can keep your gutters flowing smoothly without any ice block. Whether you choose to heat the gutter line or manually break it off, as long as you are careful, you won’t have anything to worry about. In case of any problems or guidance about gutters, feel free to reach out our experts at In The Gutter at (832) 620-7053.