Your gutters are an essential part of keeping your roofing system in good condition. Winter can wreak havoc on your home, causing severe damages that are costly to repair. Your gutters are especially prone to the harm winter can cause, with how exposed they are, making winter gutter maintenance all the more important. While gutters should undergo maintenance prior to the winter months in order to set them up for success and protect them from winter weather, there are winter gutter maintenance steps that you can take.
Winter gutter maintenance is an essential part of keeping your home in good condition. From the weight of snow build up, to expanding ice, to ice dams, to strong winds, and more, there are many winter conditions that can impact your gutters. Here are some winter gutter maintenance tips that you can utilize in order to prevent gutter damage and to ensure that your gutter is able to handle all of the challenges that winter throws at it.
#1. Clean Them Thoroughly
You’ll want to keep your gutters clean prior to winter’s advent, but you can clean them during the winter months too. Too much debris in your gutters can clog them, impacting their performance. Your gutters won’t be able to drain water if they’re all blocked up. During the winter months, this is even more of a problem, due to how if the water flow is slowed, that combined with freezing temperatures can lead to ice buildup.
Cleaning your gutters will help to prevent snow and ice from accumulating in them. When your gutters are clogged, this can lead to issues such as roof leaks, siding damage, damage to your foundation, and more.
While you can’t clean gutters in freezing temperatures, when the temperature rises above freezing, it is possible to do so. The winter months can impact gutter cleaning, but generally, here in Utah, it is possible more often than not.
#2. Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards protect your gutters from getting clogged and help to keep water flowing easily through. They’ll keep your gutters from freezing, preserving their integrity and improving their functionality. Gutter guards reduce the amount of maintenance needed for your gutters, offer pest control, protect your home from the damages that can occur when your gutters get clogged, and help to prevent the formation of ice dams.
It’s a common misconception that your gutters are to blame for the formation of ice dams, however, this isn’t true. Ice dams occur when snow melts off your roof, but then refreezes into ice at your eaves, due to temperature differences. Gutter guards alleviate some of the risk of getting ice dams through keeping your gutters clear. When your gutters are clear, it helps to drain that snow melt before it gets a chance to refreeze. Gutter guards won’t stop ice dams from forming, but they can help prevent them.
Installing gutter guards is a great winter gutter maintenance step you can take. While it’s generally better to have gutter guards installed during warmer months, you can have them installed during the winter too, so long as they aren’t situated under your shingles.
#3. Use Heat Tape
Another great winter gutter maintenance tip that we have for you is to utilize heat cable or heat tape. Heat tape looks similar to electrical extension cords and is installed in a zip-zag pattern along your gutters. It’s used to prevent ice dams by melting a channel through any potential buildup so that it drains off your roof rather than accumulating.
Heat tape is best for problem areas. While it certainly helps with winter gutter maintenance, you’ll want to combine your heat tape with gutter cleaning and ensure that you keep your gutters in good condition for the best outcome.
#4. Call An Experienced Roofer
The best kind of winter gutter maintenance is that which comes professionally recommended. It’s quite common for homeowners to be unable to fix problems that arise, either through lacking the right training or the right equipment or both. It’s always best to work with an experienced roofer if you need help with your gutters or you suspect that something may be amiss. They’ll be able to provide you with professional services and give you expert advice.
It’s important to conduct winter gutter maintenance, the same as it is to do gutter maintenance at any other time of year. The last thing you want is for your home to get damaged because your gutters weren’t maintained properly.
KangaRoof offers professional gutter services. Whether you need gutters, gutter repair, gutter guards, or heat tape, we can help. We have years of experience in the roofing industry, so when you work with us, you can count on the fact that you’re working with seasoned professionals. Contact us today for more winter gutter maintenance tips or to schedule a service!