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Kalamazoo Roofing: Article About Heated Gutter Guards

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As a homeowner, you're no stranger to the burdensome task of cleaning out your home's gutters. You may have dealt with ice dams as well. One solution for the first problem is to install guards on your gutters. Some homeowners solve the second issue with gutter heaters. These types of products can be installed together so that gutter cleaning and icicle busting duties will both be reduced. Consulting a qualified Kalamazoo roofing expert is the best way to see whether heated gutter guards are right for your home.

Not all gutter guard products work the same way. They all aim to eliminate or at least considerably reduce the need to climb up on a ladder and clean out the leaves and muck that usually accumulate in a house's gutters and downspout openings. Some gutter guards are made from wire mesh while others are plastic or aluminum snap-on screens. Some guards go into rather than over the gutter. They are made from sponge or foam material that should allow the water to pass through them while preventing the dirt and debris from doing so.

One of the most popular gutter guard designs employs a solid aluminum cover with a reverse curve at the lower end. It works using the principle of surface tension. Water flowing down the roof adheres to the guard's surface and flows backward into the gutter while leaves and other debris flow off the edge of the guard onto the ground below.

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Gutter Helmet is one brand that uses this method to protect gutters.

Many homeowners are vexed by ice dams, the thick ridges of ice that form along roof eaves and in gutters. It's because these parts of the roof tend to be colder that the melting snow traveling down the sloping roof refreezes when it gets to these spots and turns into a dam. When there's no place for melting snow to go, it can back up under the shingles and eventually get inside the house.

Heating the gutters is one way to combat ice dam and icicle formation. The most popular systems rely on electrical cables that are installed on the roof's edges or in the gutters. The cables are attached to an extension cord, and once it's plugged in, they heat up and keep the water liquid so it can flow down the gutter before it gets a chance to freeze into a dam. The product that Gutter Helmet offers has optional heated cables that can be installed over the brackets that hold up the guards. An added benefit is that the cables aren't visible from the ground.

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