LeafGuard Gutter SystemsGutter Ice Buildup and Icicles

R
This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

Our problem is the same, we had the LeafGuard Gutters installed in June, 2012. We have gone through the winter snows with hanging icicles and built up ice atop the gutters. It is extremely dangerous when the weather warms slightly. We have had near misses with our pets and ourselves when the huge icicles fall and large chunks of ice slide off the gutters. We did not have this ice problem with our old gutters, thus I wonder how it can suddenly be attributed to faulty insulation.
We now have a constant drip of water on our porch and walkway creating dangerous ice rinks. I am adding photos of the Ice Mess LeafGuard gutters. We did not capture the worst of the ice with our photos. These are a few photos taken after most of the icicles fell and the slide off of ice occurred on the sunnier back yard. The Ice remains atop the gutters and continues to drip and refreeze.
Our sales rep did not once mention or question the quality of our insulation or that there could be an ice problem in winter. He only focused on how "good" the gutters are and what a great buy we were getting. When I reported the problem to the rep he had a ready answer that we have faulty roof insulation, without even visually inspecting the gutters. Also very disappointed and have made a bad investment.

Gutter Ice Buildup and Icicles
Gutter Ice Buildup and Icicles
Gutter Ice Buildup and Icicles

Responses

  • Er
    Eric Parent Mar 04, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As a follow-up, I just now looked at the photos you posted. You definitely have some considerable ice dam issues. Definitely have the ventilation/insulation addressed, as this represents a fundamental defect with your roof insulation/ventilation, and can lead to roof leaks along the eaves (where stains appear on your ceilings along the perimeter (exterior) walls) and can cause accelerated shingle wear. Judging by how the ice and snow is forming above your guards tells me that the product this company installed as working quite well, as the ice and snow is not accumulating within your gutters.

    Please post a reply if you need further advice.

    Cheers,
    Eric Parent

    1 Votes
  • Er
    Eric Parent Mar 04, 2013
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm a senior inspector (fifteen years experience) and a civil engineer specializing in building science. The company is correct in attributing the ice problems to your insulation. The problem may actually be more with attic ventilation though. If your attic is inadequately ventilated, any heat that transmits into the attic will remain there, and warm the underside of your roof. This will cause snow to melt and then the water will re-freeze as it reaches your gutters, creating not only icicles, but worse is possible ice dams. An ice dam is basically a buildup of ice along the eave of your roof. This can lead to roof leaks as water that collects behind the dam can infiltrate underneath the shingles and through your roof (assuming you have a shingled roof). The fact that more icicles are forming actually indicates that their product is working properly, as past ice issues would've collected within the gutters, and not poor over the new guards and hang off the edges.

    Please have your ventilation problems addressed immediately, as other issues such as attic mould, pre-mature shingle wear, etc., will likely occur. I would definitely follow their advice as well which is to address insulation issues. However, at least with proper ventilation, any thermal conductivity within the attic will quickly be dissipated. Just remember that your attic has to be the same climate as the outside (temp and humidity).

    One thing to note, is the snow melting more or less uniformly? Or are there patches on your roof of thin/no snow, and patches of thick snow? If the snow is melting only in certain spots on the roof, the problem could be due (at least partially) to thermal bridging activity. This is where insulation happens to touch the underside of your roof or roof trusses/rafters in certain areas. If there is no thermal break (air space), the heat from inside your home will transfer directly through the insulation and warm your roof (which obviously is a bad thing). (Note thermal bridging can occur through any material that does not have a thermal break, however it's likely insulation in this case). Go into your attic and make sure the insulation is nice and even, and not touching the roof at any area. Also measure the thickness of the insulation. I'd like to see at least ten inches (R-30+). If it's 6" (R-20), then it's marginal and should be upgraded). If it's 3.5" (R-12) then it's very low and must be upgraded. However, if you can only do one thing right now, I would recommend increasing attic ventilation first (clear your soffits of any insulation to allow air to enter, and make sure you have adequate top-side vents for the air to exit, thus a natural upwards draft will be created).

    Cheers,
    Eric Parent

    0 Votes

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