What are Ice Dams?

Accoring to the Universit of Minnesota study dealing with and preventing ice dams, it is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow which turns into water from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas.

Do gutters cause ice dame?

It is a myth that old and rusted gutters are the cause of ice dams.  The ice is formed by the snow melting on top of the roof of a house then then refreezing before it can be removed.  What this tells us is that old and clogged gutters and downspouts, especially sectioned ones are not the cause, but can contribute to ice dams if the water does not have a clear path to the ground where the gutters get backed up.

Will replacing gutters stop ice dams

Again, the gutters in and of themselves do not cause the problem, but if you have clean seamless gutters, they are much less likely to back up and give the water the chance to refreeze.  It is also worth mentioning that seamless gutters don’t have those grooves allowing twigs, leaves and even ice to get stuck.  With this in mind, if you have segmented gutters it may be beneficial to replace them with seamless gutters, but before that, try just cleaning them out to allow a wider channel for the water to drain.