If you live in a state with severe weather, then chances are it has snowed on your gutters at some point. If that’s the case, then you already know how difficult winter can be on your gutters. If you haven’t had this happen to you yet, then you may not have thought much about it. But whether or not it’s a fact of life where you live, now is a good time to start thinking about all things gutter-related so that when freezing temperatures and heavy wet snow start piling up outside, you aren’t caught by surprise.
Winnipeg for example has a harsh winter, and if your roof will need a repair after that tough winter, go to ManitobaRoofers.com to get up to 4 quotes from top rated Winnipeg roofing companies.
Keep your gutter visually clear
We’ve seen gutters that become clogged with debris, which can make it impossible for the gutters to do their job. It’s important to keep your gutter clear of debris to ensure proper drainage. The best way to prevent clogs from forming is by installing a gutter protection system. This will prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from entering your gutter system in the first place.
You can also install a gutter cover system, which will allow water to run through while keeping debris out. If you don’t want to take the time or spend the money on protection systems, you’ll just have to clean your gutters regularly.
If you are not comfortable cleaning your own gutters, there are professional companies that can do this for you for a small fee.
Remove dead leaves and pine needles
Dead leaves, pine needles and other debris on a roof can block the flow of water through the gutters. Some roofing materials are also slightly porous, so you’ll want to keep them as clean as possible. Use a small broom or dustpan to sweep off leaves from the roof of the home. If you have a large tree overhanging your home, consider installing gutter guards or leaf filters that will prevent leaves from entering the gutter system in the first place.
Gutters clogged with dead leaves, pine needles and other debris can quickly become a problem. When gutters fill up, water can back up and cause damage to the roof and fascia board (the board behind the gutter). For this reason, it’s important to make sure your gutters stay clean throughout the fall season.
The simplest way to do this is to remove the debris by hand. If you don’t like that idea, you can also use a blower or wet/dry vacuum to remove the debris.
Clean leaves and debris out at the end of summer
To some degree, all gutters are susceptible to clogging during the winter. The insulating properties of leaves and other debris can cause ice dams to form on a roof, and rainwater or melted snow can expand and contract as it freezes, causing your gutters to detach from the fascia.
While you can’t always prevent clogging and ice dams, there are some things you can do to make winter easier on your gutters.
When you clean out your gutters in the fall, you’re taking away one of the main factors that contribute to ice dams: insulation. In order for ice dams to form, heat has to escape from your house and melt the bottom layer of snow on your roof. If there is no insulation on top of this bottom layer of snow, then it will eventually re-freeze into ice.
If you get an ice dam in Winnipeg, you can find the best Winnipeg roofers in ManitobaRoofers.com.
Maintain gutters and downspouts so they don’t clog
Gutters and downspouts are your home’s first line of defense against water damage. Your roof’s rain gutters collect the water that falls on your roof, and directs it to the downspouts, which carry the water away from your foundation to reduce the risk of settling and cracking. When gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves, water will spill over onto your foundation. Over the winter, this can lead to serious problems such as ice dams, or even foundation damage.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your gutters and downspouts hold up to the winter weather.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Remove all debris from both the gutters and downspouts. If you don’t want to clean them by hand, try using a pressure washer or a garden hose. Make sure they are free from leaves, sticks, seeds, pine needles and other debris so that water can freely flow through them during the winter season.
Trim Back Tree Branches: Tree branches growing above your roof should be trimmed back so that they are at least 6 feet away from it.
Make sure you “ice-guard” your gutters right before it snows
The last thing you want is heavy snow and ice weighing down the gutters. This could cause them to pull away from the house or even collapse. You can prevent this by using an ice guard or a similar product that will help reduce the chance of ice dams forming and causing problems with your gutters.
We hope you found this article valuable if your gutters are in need of repair, or if you’re just after a little advice on how to keep them in fine working condition. Gutters can be a big hassle during the winter, but you can make it easier on yourself and get a little preventative maintenance done by following these 5 tips. Who knows? Your gutters will thank you for it!