Protect Your Gutters This Winter — What to Do and Why
Most people aren’t aware that gutters are the focal points of their homes. What happens during the winter when the cold, icy air and precipitation stop them from doing their job? Is there a way we can protect them and keep our roofs intact? Yes, there is, and here’s how.
Ice and Water Damage
Downspouts are the vertical pipes that carry all of the water from our gutters away from our roofs and homes. They’re an integral part of every home and one that can, unfortunately, get clogged easily.
During the winter, each new layer of rain or snow that goes into the gutters will freeze in the downspout. After a while, the ice will cause a huge blockage that can damage our entire gutter system, which can cost a fortune to replace.
Since the spouts are clogged, all of that ice will start freezing along the roofline. Once the weather clears up a bit, these ice dams will melt, and the water will start seeping into the roofline. When that happens, our shingles will peel off, and we’ll need to replace them.
As the ice keeps building on and around the gutters and downspouts, its weight will start to create immense pressure. After a while, the gutter system will reach its breaking point, and it might even completely collapse. When that happens, we’ll have to install a brand-new system because there’s no saving it.
Icicles and Water Damage
We all know how dangerous icicles can be and that, when they fall, they can seriously hurt someone. But when they form around the gutters, they also, bit by bit, pull it away from the roof. If the icicles are big enough, they can even rip the gutters from the house and cause severe structural damage.
Roof and Fascia Damage
In the back of every gutter, there’s a metal piece that prevents the water from going behind it, called a drip edge. As the ice starts building, it’ll start growing under the drip edge, which will begin expanding.
Once it expands, the drip edge will start affecting our fascia and roof so much that it can cause rot. Since it’s so difficult to spot, we might not notice it for a while. And by the time we do, it might be too late, and the rot will have destroyed the edge of our home.
How to Protect Gutters
The best way to ensure we don’t feel the consequences of water and ice damage is by cleaning on a regular basis. Before the first snow falls, we can take our gloves and gadgets, grab a ladder, and start cleaning. We should make sure that there’s no debris or clogs along the gutters or downspouts.
Of course, if we can’t or don’t want to clean them ourselves, we can always call the professionals at M&M Home Remodeling Services. The team there can help keep our gutters clean and debris-free.
Using Gutter Guards
Another way to ensure our gutters are always clean, not just in winter, is with gutter guards. They will prolong the life of our gutters while keeping all of the dirt, debris, and pests out. What’s more, with the guards in place, we won’t have to clean them as often, and there’s a much smaller likelihood of clogging.
Clogged and icy gutters are extremely dangerous, and if left untreated, can cause severe damage. Replacing an entire gutter system or a roof can be a costly and taxing process.
To avoid having any of these problems, we should keep our gutters clean all year round and consider investing in gutter guards. To learn more about how and when to install them, contact M&M Home Remodeling Services. We’ll answer any questions you have and provide quick and effective service.