To serve their purpose, the gutters, downspouts and roof of your home must be completely clear of debris and leaves. Winter is a very destructive period for your gutters because of the harsh weather. During this period, it is recommended that you clean and always maintain your gutters.
Gutter Maintenance Tips For Winter
Inspecting your gutters, roof and downspouts during fall is the best course of action. Doing so will help you prepare them for winter. You should also begin with gutter maintenance at the same time. Maintaining your gutters before and after storms will minimize damages that may result in roof leaks and further damage to your roof.
Here are some gutter maintenance tips for winter:
1. Clear Your Roof Of Debris
Debris from the roof primarily fills the gutters. You must get rid of all existing debris on your roof to ensure that your gutter is not compromised. You can clear your roof of debris on your own if you understand the safety precautions. However, ensure that you do not attempt to clear it if you are not sure of what to do. You may have a slippery roof, a roof with a steep slope or live in a house with multiple stories. In any of these cases, you should hire the service of an expert roofing professional to help get the job done. This will ensure your safety.
2. Clean Your Gutters
To continue with your gutter maintenance, clear all leaves, debris and other elements you find in them. Elements such as leaves in your gutters can begin to decompose, inviting disease and pests. Furthermore, they can cause blockage to your gutters. If left unattended, they can lead to rot on your home’s structure. These issues can make gutter maintenance more expensive and difficult.
It is recommended that you carry out this type of maintenance as soon as possible. Doing so will help prevent the accumulation of snow and ice in your gutters. It will also help prevent the formation of ice dams at your roof’s eaves. Clogged gutters can cause problems that may include siding damage, foundation damage and roof leaks.
3. Check Your Downspouts
Your downspouts are another important area you should keep a close eye on during gutter maintenance. Check to see if they are at a safe distance away from your home. Your downspouts should be capable of directing water 10 feet away from the foundation of your home. This will help you avoid foundational damage that could be costly.
Furthermore, if your gutter system is safe to access, ensure that you test the downspouts. Doing so will let you know the level of maintenance your gutters need during winter. In the process of testing, there will be an immediate backlog of water if they are clogged. Ensure that you address any clog you notice.
4. Inspect Gutters For Holes, Leaks, Rust And Corroded Joints
You should carry out further inspections even if your gutters are cleaned and the downspouts are clear and free. Check your gutters for signs of holes, leaks or rust. These signs are more obvious at the joints of the gutters where the edges of the metal are welded together.
To fix this, get gutter patching kits from your local hardware store. If the joints are corroded or weak, ensure that you caulk or apply sealants to them. There is also the case that some area of your gutter framework is detached from the siding or roof. You must reattach the framework.
Furthermore, you should consider replacing your gutters if they are dilapidated, rusty or exceptionally dented. There are various types of gutters to choose from. For example, vinyl, copper or aluminum gutters and downspouts will not rot quickly. They also last longer than the other available options.
5. Install A Gutter Protection System
Installing a gutter protection system will help you greatly minimize the risk of gutter clogs. This will also help make gutter maintenance much easier. Gutter protection products prevent pine needles, dirt, leaves and other debris from getting into your gutters.
Gutter protection systems are important to the functionality and service life of your gutters. You do not have to worry about clogged gutters and the problems they cause once you install a gutter protection system.
6. Do Not Ignore Weather Conditions
Cold weather and heavy downpours can expose gutter problem areas as you approach winter. When gutters are blocked, it becomes easy for water to build up in them. The pool of water freezes, with the freezing causing your gutters to retract and expand. This can affect your gutter’s integrity.
Furthermore, the retraction and expansion of your gutters may generate cracks. When cracks happen, water can gain access to your property, potentially damaging your home’s structure. Additionally, gutter fixtures can be potentially loosened because of the increased wind pressure during the winter months. It is a safety risk when this happens.
Your gutters are as important as other areas of your home. Keeping them in good condition is essential to their functionality and longevity. Following maintenance tips during winter will ensure that you avoid any potential damage to your gutters. Always consult roofing professionals to ensure the safety and longevity of your home’s gutters. Need gutter work done? Call Born Carpentry of Andover, Minnesota, at 612-747-8003.