How to Eliminate Damage to Your Gutter System This Winter
Homeowners who are interested in preserving the integrity of their gutter may be up for another cleaning and inspection session as the temperature begins to drop farther and faster. While February is almost in the rear view mirror, March can still bring some brutal winter weather, especially if you happen to live in a region with a snowy winter. As a result, your gutters are definitely in danger of getting damaged by ice and snow. Thankfully here are a few steps you can take to prevent damage to your gutters this winter:
1) Thoroughly Clean Your Gutter…Again
Clean my gutter? I just did that a few months ago. We understand your frustration. However, the sparkling gutters you had at the beginning of the fall is now filled with falling leaves, twigs, and other who-knows-what elements. A clogged gutter in winter is a big problem. Removing all the debris will help your gutter to redirect water, ice, and snow more efficiently, thus minimizing the probability of accumulating standing water that will be turned into an ice dam.
2) Double, Triple Secure Your Gutter
The last thing you want to do is have a gutter hanging loosely away from the roof. Yet, with a few loose fasteners and a few icicles, your gutters may inevitably become loose and even completely detached from your ridge. Check your fasteners carefully and screw them tight with your handy tools. If you have time, go right ahead and invest in a micro guard to help you filter elements and keep them from clogging your gutter when snow begins to fall.
3) Give Heated Gutter Guard a Try
In case you don’t know this, an ice dam is formed when the warmth of your house melts the snow that is on the top of your roof. As melted snow runs toward the edge, the chilly temperature causes the runoff to re-freeze — usually at the gutters and downspout. Repeat the same cycle a few times, and you’ve got yourself a wall or dam of ice building up at the edge of your roof. When an ice dam is formed, it not only adds extra weight to your gutter, but also interferes with its performance. To avoid that from happening, you can install a heated gutter guard to keep the runoff in its liquid form. That way, your gutter can seamlessly redirect the runoff away from the roof, wall, and foundation of your home.
4) Use Common Sense
This may sound a bit harsh, but we just cannot emphasize the importance of maintaining your gutter the right way. Oftentimes, when icicles begin to form at the edge of your roof, many well-intended homeowners will use a chisel, screwdriver, or hammer head to chip the ice away. What they don’t realize is that the process actually adds to the gutter’s strain, making it more vulnerable than before. Additionally, using a rake to pull the snow or ice can cause you to scrape your shingle and even tear them off. This may result in a frustrating leaky roof right in the middle of winter.