Winter has hit, blowing in with freezing temperatures and the white stuff, but gutter maintenance shouldn’t be ignored during this season. Your home needs well-maintained gutters and downspouts year-round and in winter, it’s extremely important. Postponing gutter cleaning and maintenance until the warmer months can result in costly damage to the home’s roof, fascia, siding, foundation, and more.
Check for Issues
Some gutters simply need more attention, especially if there are many trees on or nearby the property. Fall gutter cleaning removes a significant portion of clogging debris, but late season leaf dropping can be a problem in early winter. Soggy leaves, seed pods, twigs, and other debris build up in the gutter and prevent water from flowing to the downspout. As the temperatures drop, water and debris freezes creating issues:
- Icicles: pose danger to people and pets, plus they can weigh down the gutter causing bending and cracks.
- Ice dams: different from icicles, ice dams form inside the gutter blocking water flow and forcing water up under the shingles/roof or in overflow down the side of the house. This can cause significant damage to the attic, roof, windows, siding, foundation, and basement.
- Heavy snow: the weight of snow adds up and can bend, warp, snap, and crack your gutters. A roof rake can be used to remove large amounts of snow from the roof, helping to lighten the load in the gutter and on top of the home.
Check for icicles, ice dams, and snow in the gutters after inclement weather hits. Remember that hitting large icicles to remove them can actually do more harm than good. It can tear the gutter from the house and cause damage that’s costly to repair.
TIP: It’s not recommended to use rock salt (sodium chloride) to melt ice/snow in the gutters. Rock salt can damage shingles, corrode metal gutters, and be harmful to pet paws and tummies if ingested.
Winter Gutter Cleaning
Winter gutter cleaning involves much of the same process as any other time of the year. However, it can be a more treacherous with snow and ice covering the property. Professional gutter cleaning is a good option as teams not only are properly trained to clean gutters, but they can do it safely year-round with the right equipment and products. United Window Cleaning professionals handle gutter cleaning jobs of all sizes any time of year, ensuring you don’t have to slog through the snow with a ladder or deal with the chilly temperatures.
Inspecting Gutters and Downspouts for Damage
Professionals will inspect the gutters and downspouts for damage and in addition to removing soggy leaves, animal nests, and other debris, they will:
- Check angle of the gutter slope so water can flow correctly
- Make sure the diverted water flows away from the house/foundation
- Look for leaks at the gutter seams
- Check that the gutter and downspout are firmly and properly attached to the house
- Look for any gapping between the gutter and fascia
- Check for any water-related damage to the siding, fascia, and foundation
Avoiding winter gutter maintenance can cause serious problems, from shingle and roof damage to complete gutter loss and foundation issues. Contact the professionals at United Window Cleaning for full gutter maintenance and peace of mind throughout the blustery winter season.