During the winter months, severe weather can really do a number on your gutters, with the main culprits being ice and snow. Fortunately, however, there are some things that can be done to prevent most of the issues that cause damage.
How Ice Can Ruin Your Gutters
The two main causes of winter gutter damage are ice buildups and ice dams.
When ice builds up inside your gutters, the resulting overflow spills over the sides, forming icicles. While icicles may look pretty, their weight – combined with that of the ice that has already built up – puts a tremendous amount of stress on gutters, which can cause them to pull away from the house or even collapse.
Ice dams occur when heat from your home warms up the roof, melting snow that may be there. The resulting melt water then flows down to your gutters. If they are plugged up by ice or debris, the water will back up and refreeze, forming an ice dam. Ice dams prevent water from draining off the roof and into the gutters, and with nowhere to go, the water can then back up under shingles, causing significant water damage to your home.
Ways to Avoid Winter Gutter Damage
Clean out your gutters every fall. Gutters clogged with twigs and leaves are often a big factor in the formation of ice dams because they restrict water flow. Keep them clean and clear going into winter to lessen the likelihood of clogs.
Keep your roof clear of snow. Use a roof rake to keep the bottom two feet of your roof clear of ice and snow, being careful to avoid snagging it on the gutters.
Give your roof a once-over. Check your roof for any missing or loose shingles and call for repairs as necessary to keep your roof water-tight.
Invest in rooftop heating cables. If you have the means, heating cables can be helpful in preventing ice from building up, and have the added benefit of raising the resale value of your home.
If the worst happens and your gutters end up damaged beyond repair, the experienced roofing contractors at Muth & Company Roofing can install a new gutter system for you. Contact us at (614) 682-3060 and we will quickly get your home on the road to recovery.