Freezing temperatures and harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on gutters. While ice inside gutters can weigh them down and contribute to formation of ice dams, falling branches from snow and ice storms can do damage as well.
Maintaining gutters in the fall and winter and performing regular yard work throughout both seasons can help you avoid problems. These tips will help.
Trim Back Overhanging Branches
While LeafGuard owners are protected from leaves piling up in their gutters, falling branches can cause any homeowner headaches. Branches that overhang your home can break during winter storms. When branches fall on gutters, damage can occur easily. In addition, small branches that fall into gutters can cause clogs in the downspout.
Trimming back overhanging branches can help prevent this problem. When trimming branches, it’s important to ensure that the branches themselves do not fall onto the house. Trimming with a partner or hiring an arborist can help if you think you may need professional help
Clean Gutters Periodically
For LeafGuard owners, this is not an issue – but if you still have any uncovered gutters, it’s especially important to go clean your gutters during winter.
Clogged gutters may hold standing water throughout the winter. When this water freezes, ice forms. Over time, ice in the gutters can contribute to the development of an ice dam. Cleaning the gutters can prevent this problem from occurring. To clean your gutters, you’ll need a ladder, bucket, small trowel and protective gloves.
Lean the ladder against the house, then climb up the ladder until you can see inside the gutters. Use the trowel to scoop leaves out of the gutters and into the bucket. To avoid accidents and a mess, do not drop leaves and debris from the gutters onto your lawn. When the gutters have been completely cleared, spray the inside of the gutters with a gentle stream of water from a hose.
If water is still built up inside of the gutters after the leaves have been removed, this is an indication that the downspouts are clogged. Sometimes spraying down into the downspout with a strong jet of water can help, but often a plumber’s auger is needed to clear the clog. A plumber’s auger consists of a stiff cable with a corkscrew-like end. To clear the clog, push the cable into the downspout. When you encounter the clog, twist the cable by turning the crank, then continue to push the cable farther into the downspout. When the clog is completely clear, remove the auger.
Know When To Call A Professional
Trying to fix your gutters (and often trying to clean your gutters) can be dangerous in winter. Ice and snow can make standing on a ladder hazardous. In addition, you should never climb on your roof in icy conditions. If your gutters need to be repaired and the conditions outside make this activity dangerous, call a gutter professional. Gutter professionals have special equipment, training and experience that enables them to maintain your gutters even when the weather outside is harsh.
At LeafGuard, we proudly install patented, seamless gutters with overhanging guards that prevent leaves from falling into the gutters. This means that LeafGuard gutters are protected from debris and are easy to maintain in winter. To have LeafGuard gutters installed in your home, contact us for an appointment at (317) 399-5613.