Winter Gutter Care Tips
Your home’s gutter system plays an important role in protecting the structure of your home. Although taking care of the gutters is a tedious, frustrating task, it is important they are well maintained, especially now that winter has arrived. One of the most common problems that occur when the gutter system is neglected is ice dams, which can quickly lead to roof leaks, structural damage and damage to the interior of your home. Here are a few tips to ensure your gutter system is ready for bad weather.
Clean the Gutters
A row of icicles hanging from the roof may look pretty, but icicles are a sign of ice dams. One of the main causes of ice dams is debris, such as leaves, dirt and twigs. When the gutters are full of debris, it prevents the water from draining as it is intended, which causes it to back up and freeze, causing icicles. As the water melts, the only place for it to go is under the roofing shingles or down the side of the house and into the foundation. For this reason, it is essential that you clean the gutters at least twice each year, preferably at the end of fall and at the beginning of spring. The cleaner the gutters are the less the risk is of an overflow occurring and causing ice dams. To clean the gutters before bad weather arrives:
- Remove all debris, including leaves, dirt, twigs, paper and other stuff that can get pushed down by snow and ice.
- After removing the debris, use a garden hose to spray out the gutters and drains.
Check for Damages
It is important to inspect the gutter system for damages routinely. After cleaning the gutters, check for leaks and make sure the gutters have not pulled away from the house and look for dents and rust. Always check the downspouts to make sure the water is flowing freely and isn’t pooling at the bottom of the downspout. When doing your inspection, be sure to look for any damages to the foundation, siding and fascia that may be a sign of damages to the gutter system. If you notice any type of water damage, such as rotting wood, staining or cracks in the foundation, contact a professional to do a thorough inspection and make the necessary repairs as soon as possible.
One of the best ways to ensure that your gutter system is operating like it should is to have regular, professional maintenance and inspections. Having a professional company maintain the gutter system will not only allow you to avoid climbing a ladder and spending the weekend cleaning the gutters, but it will also allow you to become aware of any potential problems before they cause damage. Keep in mind that prevention is always the best way to avoid extensive and expensive damages.
For more information on how to ensure your gutters are ready for the winter weather or to schedule a maintenance visit, contact us at Wayne Overhead Door Sales and Home Improvement,