Old Man Winter has arrived and he hardly waited for your gutters to be prepared. By now, hopefully, you’ve gotten the leaves out of the way, but even so, there’s plenty left to do to make sure that the low temperatures don’t cause serious problems around your house.
Unclog gutters – An absolute must. Most gutters are cleaned out earlier in the season, but leaves can always fall later than expected. If your gutters are clogged and water flow is restricted by leaves, water will build up and then freeze once the temperature drops. Frozen water in your gutters is very likely to weigh them down and cause cracking. If unclogging your gutters is a chore you would rather skip, consider a seamless gutter system like LeafGuard.
Make sure gutters are secure – As we enter the season of snowfall for many regions, it’s important that gutters are tightly secured, as snow and icicles will put more weight and pressure on the gutters. If a few nails or panels are loose, a heavy snowfall could leave you with a gutter hanging sideways off of your roof.
Make sure downspouts are aligned – If your downspouts are not functioning properly, the water that your gutters worked so hard to corral and drive away won’t end up going very far at all. Water will leak down the side of your house and freeze. Ice around your house is not only dangerous for walking, but, as it expands, ice will put pressure on whatever structures it abuts or covers.
Remove branches from overhanging trees – Tree branches that hang over the roof of your house pose a threat should they ever fall down. It would be wise to take them down on your own terms, whether that means getting on your roof with a saw, or hiring a landscaping company to get rid of the branches.
Ensure that water flows away from foundation – As mentioned above, it is important that water not only flows within your gutters but ultimately ends up away from your home, for your foundation’s sake. If too much water freezes around your house, it can put pressure on your foundation and even cause minor shifts.
This is the time of year when being busy snowballs into chaos, and before you know it it’s February and you’ve experienced snow and ice on several occasions. Knock this chore off the list and rest assured that your gutters will brave the elements.
Photo Credit: ‘Icicles are Nicicles’, Flickr, @Capt’ Gorgeous
Photo Credit: ‘Clear Blue Sky Above Snow Topped Gutter’, Flickr, @chrissatchwell