Frozen Gutters? How To Thaw Them Out

Ice damming and icicles on home

Colorado’s weather patterns are well known for drastically fluctuating from day to day. Especially in the winter months, volatility in warm-then-cold temperatures leads to ice formation in many unwanted places including frozen gutters in Colorado.

Once noticed, it often seems too late to do anything about your frozen gutters. While icicle formation and ice damming can build significant volumes of ice in your gutters, it is best to allow them to thaw out before trying to physically remove them in their frozen state as this may cause even more damage. 

Frozen gutters in Colorado can not only cause serious damage to your gutter system by leveraging additional weight to the gutter brackets, but your roof, shingles, facia boards, and soffits are at higher risk for damages as well. Not to mention the harm these build-ups can inflict on homeowners or guests walking near them!

The Stocking Method
(For Frozen Gutters)

Similar to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s tactic to mitigating icing on our roads and a highway, Calcium Chloride is a considerable option when come to melting your frozen gutters too! 

It is important to note however that calcium chloride can cause some degree of corrosion to aluminum surfaces. This is why using the stocking method is a more apppropriate option to melting your gutters rather than directly exposing your aluminum gutters to the calcium.

This method includes using long stockings from old pantihose legs or multiple socks filled will calcium and laid within or on top of the ice formation in you gutters. Sprinkling the calcium chloride directly on top of the ice may be necessary if there is an overflow of ice buildup in your gutters. Be sure to avoid exposing your roofing shingles to any calcium as it will stain and discolor the shingles. 

Hot Water Method
(For Frozen Gutters)

Boiling water in pot to show how to melt frozen gutters in colorado

The hot water method is a relatively more hands-on method to thawing your frozen gutters in Colorado. Ideally, if you have access to a hot water spicket to attach your hose/sprayer, this will be the most efficient strategy. Otherwise, you may need to repeatedly dump hot water using a pot or pitcher throughout the gutter. 

The issue with the Hot Water Method is the fact that there is a change the hot water will not melt all of the ice in time before the next freeze that night. You may find that you have reduced the volume of frozen ice but not completely solved the problem.

Calling a professional with a modern steam system to melt your gutters is wise decision too in order to completely resolve the problem


Fool-Proof Solutions
To Keep Gutters Thawed

There are always pitfalls to the DIY methods when it comes to home maintenance. While in many situations DIY solutions to frozen gutters in Colorado would be effective, there is one that keeps you off the ladder and safely in your home for years to come.

Professional Heat Cable installations are the next logical step to take when you no longer want to risk damaging your home or injuring a family member. You can learn more about how heating your gutters with our regulating heat cable info post!

Self-regulating heat cable has the ability to not only maintain melted and flowing gutters, but also provides additional heat to areas of your roof where snow and ice appear to build up every year. This is commonly see in north facing and shaded areas. (In Colorado there are many of these) 

Gutter Helmet of The Pikes Peak region offers free quotes on Heat Cable systems and installs all year long to keep homeowners ready for any season!

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