Whenever it rains or snow melts in the winter these rain guards drop water right in front of the walkway which freezes and causes an ice mess. I am reluctant to add a gutter section because no other part of the house has them or run off issues. Might look weird if only one edge of the house has gutters. Was wondering if there's any solutions that don't involve annual maintenance ie cleaning.

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    I think the looks won't be as bad as you think. I just have gutters on the edges that need them and I never really notice. Is looks the only concern? I live in a warm climate. Do gutters have their own freezing issues?
    – JPhi1618
    Apr 9, 2019 at 17:54
  • @JPhi1618 You ever have any issue with water freezing in the gutters and creating an ice damn leaving the water no where to go? Apr 9, 2019 at 17:56
  • @MicahMontoya, you may have seen my comment before the edit - Never had ice, but that's the kind of issue I would worry about for ACD.
    – JPhi1618
    Apr 9, 2019 at 17:58
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    Decently installed gutters shouldn't really call attention to themselves, so I wouldn't worry a whole lot about it looking weird. Anecdotally, a friend of mine has gutters on only one part of their house, and I never noticed for years until I had my own gutters redone and was specifically looking at their setup. Apr 9, 2019 at 18:11
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    FYI, that "kicker" is there to prevent water from running behind the siding at the eave as much as it's there for your comfort. Do not remove it. You could shorten it to about a third of what's there if you install a gutter, but leave at least 18" in place to direct the bulk of the water from the wall. You don't want to be replacing wall sheathing, insulation, and the window in 10 years because it all rotted away.
    – isherwood
    Apr 9, 2019 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


Sure, there's a solution that requires no annual maintenance (well, no more than the whole house needs) but that would be to rebuild the roof so it does not dump there. Which you might consider a rather major task, but hey, you asked. Thank the architect for causing the problem for you.

Simplest solution will be a section of gutter and a section of heating cable (run only as needed) to keep the downspout and gutter functional with ice. But you might need to clean it, yes.

Most absurdly expensive solution to operate would be to retrofit ice-melting heat (electric cable or fluid/heat exchanger) into the walkway itself. Truly crazy expensive to run, but some places do that.

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