Snow and ice can wreak havoc on your house during the winter months. And your rain gutters are just as susceptible. In this article, I share with you what I’ve found to be the best gutter guards for snow and ice. I provide reviews of each along with a list of things you should consider when buying gutter guards that can withstand everything winter throws at them.
The Best Gutter Guards For Snow and Ice
Gutters have a tendency to collect leaves and other debris, and that makes gutter guards an important part of your roof’s drainage system. One side effect of installing gutter guards on your horizontal runs is they can help to generate ice sickles and dams as water freezes during the winter.
There are features that can be found on these products that actually protect against ice build-up. It is important to look for these features to provide your home with the best protection, and the following products are worth considering.
1. EasyOn Gutter Guard
By using durable surgery-grade steel, the manufacturer provides a fine mesh covering that can block small grains and other debris. That will help to prevent possible building points that water can gather and freeze during the winter months. The low angle that the surface provides will also encourage water flow under sitting snow on the surface of the gutter guard.
This product comes in four-foot long sections that are easy to handle during installation and maintenance. It also comes with installation hardware that can withstand water and freezing conditions, adding to the durability of the system.
- The small mesh is capable of blocking smaller debris that can create areas in the gutter valley that will build up water before it freezes, creating ice dams
- It offers a highly durable mesh by using surgical grade steel that offers high tensile strength that also resists damage from moisture
- This product can be installed with double-sided foam tape that allows homeowners to connect the mesh without screws that can damage mounting points and could eliminate your roof warranty
- This 5.5 inch wide system will struggle to work on larger gutters in regions that receive large amounts of moisture during the year, including the winter months
This product could provide you with a guard solution on small and medium-sized gutter runs in most locations. It provides homeowners with multiple installation methods that may provide a secure purchase without voiding roof warranties in some regions.
2. Raptor Gutter Guard
Raptor’s use of professional-grade steel in construction helps to ensure that this product will last, which is reflected in their lengthy warranty coverage. Due to this system’s design, it does not require walls made from aluminum or other materials. That makes the entire system steel.
The surface that this guard creates is flat, so a slight angle introduced when mounting the product will create a pitch that allows water to flow freely, even in conditions where snow and ice have built-up on the gutter guard itself. That will help to prevent overflow that creates ice sickles as well as ice dams in the gutter itself.
- A stand out feature on this product is the 25-year warranty offered by the manufacturer, which is one of the longest in the industry
- It installs in the gutter along the walls of your existing system, allowing you to avoid lifting any of your roof tiles where water and ice could cause issues
- A flat top surface can be installed with the desired angle to provide enough pitch to keep water flowing, even when snow sits on top of the guard during the winter
- If the gutter guard is not installed with a slight angle, water could freeze and begin to build up along the mounting points in the gutter walls itself
This product will make a good option for homeowners that worry about damaging roof tiles during installation. The fine mesh will cover average-sized gutters found on many homes in North America.
3. Amerimax Hoover Dam Gutter Guard
Amerimax offers a gutter guard system that can adjust to gutter widths of four, five, and six inches. That will make this an attractive option for gutters located in rain or snowfall areas that use larger gutter runs.
The mesh size of this system will block all but the smallest of particles, helping to keep the majority of debris that causes water build-up in gutter channels. These openings will also offer a path for water to flow when snow or ice sits on the product’s surface.
Keep in mind that the edge that meets up with the roof will need to be pushed under your roof shingles. That could be an issue, depending upon the warranty details on your roof.
- This product is highly adjustable, allowing homeonwers to use it on a variety of gutter widths
- An engineered “dam” edge helps to promote continuous water flow along the edge and into the gutter channel
- Extra valleys are found on the gutter guard surface that may actually promote water flow if they are not too steep
- If this material is used on thinner gutters, the accordion-style ridges on the guard may be deep enough to create channels for water to freeze in, causing build-up if not addressed
This gutter guard system might be ideal for homes that use larger gutter runs that are designed for lots of water movement. That is due to this system’s ability to cover widths up to six inches.
What To Look For: Gutter Guards For Snow And Ice
Why are gutter guards so susceptible to ice build-up? You have to keep in mind that they are made from metals in many cases, and these materials will become cold quickly. Those freezing conditions are transferred to water in your gutter system, allowing it to freeze along the edge of gutters as well as in the valley.
Water that freezes then creates a dam or dripping point that unfrozen water will naturally follow. This, in turn, adds to the ice sickle or ice dam and will cause it to grow.
With a lack of insulation or heat source, water will build around or on gutter guards, even if the gutter system did not experience problems in the past.
Features You Want in Gutter Guards with Snow and Ice
To begin with, a fine mesh will be more desirable than standard mesh sizes. The fine mesh prevents roof grit and small debris from entering the gutter channel where it can create places for water to pool and freeze.
That fine mesh will also allow the debris to move off of the gutters with just a small pitch in place from installation. This will increase movement to edge or guard where debris will have less influence on the water that runs across it. It also allows the surface to direct the water towards the edge of the guard lip.
A properly designed lip, or edge, along the gutter run, will encourage water movement by taking advantage of gravity for motion. A proper edge is designed so that water cannot pool on it, allowing cold temperatures to freeze on the edge and block water movement.
Finally, keep in mind the materials used in the construction of the gutter guard. Many of today’s products are made with high-quality steels that offer a smooth surface that lacks defects that attract water. Some even offer coatings as well. This material not only encourages water movement, but it also keeps moisture from damaging your gutter guards.
Ice and snow do not have to end your gutter guard’s protection. Today’s products do offer you a range of features that will improve their performance during the winter months.
Once you determine the width of your current gutter runs, you should be able to find a gutter guard that matches in size. You will have a few ways of mounting your gutter guards, depending on the manufacturer’s design. If installing the system under your roof shingles is not an option, make sure to shop for a system that will connect directly to the gutter walls.
Make sure that the system uses a fine mesh made from high-quality steel that will provide tensile strength and longevity. Avoid products that use too much aluminum or plastics in the system, as they will break and crack quickly. Finally, a gutter guard that is easy to remove will allow quick access to the gutter valley if you need to remove build-up.