While gutter maintenance is essential all year round, it’s particularly crucial during the cold winter. The US Department of Energy (DOE) lists gutter cleaning as one of the top things to do to prepare your home for winter.
Learn how to winterize your gutters to save time, effort, and money. This article will share the basics and everything you need to know about gutters in the winter.
- What Happens to Your Gutters in the Winter
- Reasons to Clean Gutters in the Winter
- Gutters in the Winter Maintenance
What Happens to Your Gutters in the Winter
Winter adds a burden of work to your gutters. Aside from the fallen leaves and debris, it faces snow, ice, and cold conditions. Freezing temperatures can make your gutters more prone to splits and cracks. A gutter in the winter also becomes more susceptible to molds, water stains, rotting, and corrosion, especially when clogged.
Furthermore, gutters are not designed to hold standing water for long periods, so clogged ice, snow debris, and rainwater could weaken your gutter. Dangerous ice dams can also form, which can loosen roof shingles and damage your gutter.
Reasons to Clean Gutters in the Winter
Cleaning and winterizing your gutters may be a tedious job but should be done if you want to avoid potential damage to your property. Here are detailed reasons why you should clean your gutters in the winter:
Prevent Ice Dam Formation
Rainwater that freezes forms an ice dam, which adds weight to your gutter and may cause it to collapse. Additionally, when ice dams melt, they may cause leaks, molds, water stains, and even drips inside your home. The most effective way to combat ice dams is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Take care to ensure your gutters are free of leaves and debris so clogging and buildup are less likely to occur when winter arrives.
Maintain Proper Drainage
Proper drainage is critical during the winter, when snow, ice, and rain combine to test your gutter’s strength. Gutters free of debris support proper water flow, especially during heavy rainfall. Grand Haven Seamless Gutters can improve drainage flow because they have no extra joints or seams where clogging usually starts.
Protect Roof and Siding
Cleaning your gutters in the winter helps prevent serious structural damage. As the ice expands, it damages the gutter’s fascia, siding, and roofline. It could lead to a cracked foundation that’s expensive to repair. Experts add that a leaking and a clogged gutter’s drip line damages a house’s foundation and walls.
Gutters in the Winter Maintenance
Experts advise having the gutter cleaned and maintained more than twice a year if you live in an area exposed to severe storms and harsh cold weather conditions. Here are some steps to keep in mind:
Prepare the Area and Get the Right Tools
- Begin by wearing the proper safety gear, such as goggles, rubber gloves, etc.
- Acquire and prepare the following tools:
- Gardening shovel
- Drain clearing tool
- Pistol-grip nozzle for the hose
- If you’re familiar with it, you can DIY a gutter sucker
Remove Debris from Gutters and Downspouts
- Scooping snow and ice during winter is more challenging than removing leaves and other debris during warm seasons.
- Pay extra attention to junctions, joints, and corners where ice buildup usually starts. Again, this is where Grand Haven seamless gutters work best because they have no joints and seams.
Flush Gutters with Water and Check for Leaks
- If there’s already severe clogging or an ice dam is already formed, you have to let it thaw. Use a garden hose to flush with water, or even better, call in the professionals.
- Check if your gutters are still securely attached to the fascia board and if there are any leaks or damages in need of repair.
Install Gutter Guards, if Necessary
Gutter guards act as a cover for your gutter, keeping debris out while allowing rainwater in. It helps reduce the amount of cleaning you need and may lessen clogging. Because it prevents debris buildup, it prolongs your gutter’s lifespan by protecting it against molds, mildew, and rust.
Let’s Keep Things Easy
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that yearly, more than 500,000 people are treated for injuries caused by climbing ladders, and about 300 people die. Performing maintenance and repairs is among the leading causes of these slips and falls. Don’t put your safety at risk and become part of this statistic. Be safe and save money and time by letting the professionals at Shepherd Shoreline handle your gutter repair and maintenance. Keep things easy and reach us here or call (231) 780-2847 to schedule a consultation.