Few sights inspire the heart and imagination like a winter wonderland of white snowscapes and elegant icicles. That joy may be short-lived, however, the moment you discover that ice has inhabited your gutters. Ice dams, accumulations of ice that block the passage of liquid water, can render your gutters useless until the next big melt. Let’s take a close look at this homeowner’s nightmare, including ways you can deal with it or even prevent it.
Does this sight look familiar?
The What and Why of Ice Dams
Why does this troublesome development plague your gutters? Roof warming can contribute to ice dam formation during the colder months. You might assume that your roof remains as cold as the rest of the home’s exterior, but you’re most likely wrong. Attic heat can transfer to the roof, warming it just enough to melt snow collected on top. . . .
“Gutter cleaning.” The phrase even sounds unappealing.
Perhaps you grew up hearing your parents and other adults gripe and groan about having to clean their gutters. And this perception may have stuck with you until adulthood when you finally bought your own home for the first time. Since there are a lot of tasks to accomplish and details to work out when you move into a new home, it’s perfectly understandable how gutter cleaning would slide down (or even off) the priority list.
But neglecting your gutters is not a smart thing to do, especially during the fall season. Leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris can clog your gutters and prevent runoff water from entering – which could eventually lead to expensive water-related damage around your home.
It’s not going to clean itself, you know.
Preparing for Gutter Cleaning
With a little preparation and perseverance, cleaning . . .
Hey, you. It’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, now.
Oh, you’re probably still wrapping up all of your summer-related activities and looking forward to enjoying colorful fall days and cooler evenings. That’s perfectly understandable.
Winter is Lurking Just Around the Corner
But Old Man Winter is coming, and probably sooner than you think. In fact, some weather watchers are forecasting an exceptionally cold winter season this year. Even the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the newest edition of which was released last month, predicted what it called a “super cold” winter.
If you’re a homeowner in New England, that means you should probably begin those cold-weather preparations sooner rather than later. That means inspecting your heaters, putting in a little more insulation, and weatherstripping leaky doors and windows.
While you’re planning ahead for winter’s arrival, be sure not to neglect your gutters – or you may be dealing . . .
Okay, ladies and gentlemen – it’s time to give out the Seasonal Awards for 2014. Here are the winners:
For the Season Most Likely to Cause a Sunburn - the winner is… summer!
Next, the award for the Season Most Likely to Lead to Allergy Flare-Ups - congratulations to… spring!
The winner in the Season Most Likely To Make You Slip and Fall on your Keister is… winter!
And finally, the trophy for Season During Which It’s Hardest to Maintain Your Gutters goes to… autumn!
“Oh, what a surprise! I’m so unprepared! I’d like to thank my agent…”
Truth be told, autumn isn’t a runaway victor in this category. After all, debris such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles can make their way into your gutters during any season of the year.
Autumn Gutter Cleaning Can Be Difficult
That said, there’s a reason why they call the season fall. Given that the majority of trees and plants tend to . . .
You’ve heard the old saying before: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… especially with modern day healthcare prices!”
All right, so maybe that last part wasn’t uttered by Ben Franklin in the 18th century. But the idea behind that adage from so long ago still holds true today. Basically, it encourages people to put forth a little effort toward prevention in order to avoid a significant disaster down the road which must be “cured.”
That Ben. He was a pretty sharp guy.
This is certainly accurate with respect to the gutters on your home. Compared with many other household chores or maintenance tasks, cleaning out your gutters is relatively easy to accomplish. But if you neglect this important job, you could be leaving yourself open for a host of problems and expensive repair bills. In fact, some gutter cleaning . . .
Countless Americans like to head to New England every autumn. They love to marvel at the vibrant, majestic fall colors that are splashed across the region’s trees.
And then they all go home. Ever notice how these folks never stick around when all of these beautiful leaves detach from the trees? New Englanders would probably welcome the help in raking them up, stashing them in bags, and scooping them out of the gutters.
And this doesn’t help. At all.
If you’re a New England homeowner, you certainly can’t prevent the leaves from falling onto your property. But you can keep them out of your gutters if you install some gutter protection. And you might as well invest in the best: Gutter Helmet.
Gutter Helmet: Your Unique Gutter Protection Solution
What makes Gutter Helmet the most popular, dependable gutter protection system in North America?
The surface is protect by . . .
You know that you’ve got too much debris in your gutters when…
Other people see the piles of leaves on your roofline and assume your house is vacant…
Both insects and animals are living in your gutters side by side in perfect harmony…
There are more plants growing in your gutters than in your garden…
These are called leaves - until they fall onto your roof, where they become debris.
OK, enough jokes. You probably are aware that your gutters could stand to be cleaned. But maybe you simply don’t have the time, or it’s too expensive to get someone else to do it, or your ladder is broken, or you don’t feel safe climbing up to your roof.
Then here’s a suggestion: have a gutter cover installed over your gutters. This will help prevent leaves, pine needles, and other debris from falling or sliding into your gutters.
A Primer . . .
Mass Save is an energy-saving initiative that is underpinned by the state’s nine electricity and gas utility providers. The goal of the program is to help every Massachusetts homeowner reduce his or her energy usage while hopefully saving money in the process.
But before you can take the appropriate steps to begin saving energy, you first have to figure out where your home is the least energy-efficient. The procedure that helps identify these areas which must be addressed is known as the home energy assessment.
Their motto is “Savings through energy efficiency.”
What is a Home Energy Assessment?
An on-site home energy assessment can be performed free of charge by any qualified contractor. The assessment usually takes between 90 and 150 minutes, and it ends with a meeting between the contractor and anyone in the household who makes decisions on energy usage. The homeowners are presented with a customized list . . .
In an effort to help Massachusetts homeowners reduce their energy consumption and save money on utility bills, the commonwealth’s nine gas and electric utility companies are teaming up to implement an initiative called Mass Save. This enterprise offers incentives to customers who undertake projects to make their homes more energy-efficient.
Mass Save HEAT Loan Program
One particular Mass Save incentive is called the HEAT Loan Program. This plan allows homeowners to finance energy-saving home improvements with 0% interest loans, which lets them spread out the costs over time rather than having to fork over a large lump sum of money when the project is completed. The HEAT Loan Program offers these no-interest loans for a wide variety of renovations and upgrades – including the installation of replacement windows.
Chances are, your home could use a few energy-efficient replacement windows.
Replacement Window Installation Incentives
Today’s energy-efficient . . .
You may have heard about Heated Helmet, the innovative solution to the problem of frozen gutters and their related hazards. This self-regulating coil runs the length of your guttering system and heats up only when the ambient temperature drops below a certain point. Since it’s GFCI-protected, it will never overheat — making Heated Helmet a safe and effective away to prevent ice formation inside your gutters during the winter.
But even if you appreciate the concept, you maybe wondering if Heated Helmet is right for your home. To find out, ask yourself these questions:
Does your home’s roof see snowpack for any length of time?
If you live in the New England area, chances are your roof is snow-laden for at least a portion of the year. When this happens, the snow not only falls into the gutters, but any snowmelt that runs into the . . .