Cold and Snow Damage to Gutters: What is it?
Winter is well and truly here! With temperatures dropping below freezing, the fear of snowfall looming. There really is no better time than now to be thinking about the harm the winter elements could cause to your home. Once freezing temperatures begin to rise again, the thaw sets in. This is when snow melts away down your roof, often collecting and dragging down anything in its path. We’ve summarised some points to help you prevent and repair gutter damage caused during the winter months.
When ice strikes, beautiful, mystical icicles can form from the guttering. Although these might look like something out of a fairy tale, they can cause a great deal of damage to your gutters. The extra weight they add creates warping and cracking due to the added pressure. Furthermore, if ice builds up inside the gutter, an ice dam can form, holding up free flowing water and resulting in an overflow. If a gutter leaks or overflows, the water builds up around your walls which can seep into the interior of your home. For these reasons it’s important to ensure your gutters are prepped in advance of snowfall to avoid any future damage.
Check for repairs
Firstly, we advise that you carry out a check of your gutters to be sure they are in good condition. If they’re in a bad way before the winter weather sets in, your gutters will be much more susceptible to splits and cracks when ice and snow take over. Repairing or patching up any cracks in your gutters, or hiring a professional to do so, will save you time and money in the long run. If ice or snow create a crack or blockage and water isn’t guided along the gutter to the drain below, the damage caused by the snow will cost significantly more to repair than a patch up job.
Make sure your gutters are clean
Another easy way of ensuring your gutter is ready for the extreme weather that winter brings is to keep them clean and well maintained. Gutters filled with leaves and other miscellaneous items already pose a risk of blockages. This can lead to warping due to the added weight they carry. Add snow or ice to the equation and you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen! You can seek the help of a professional to get your gutters cleaned. Do request that they check for any repairs as they go, giving you complete confidence that your gutters are ready to take on the cold months.
If and when the snow does come, it can collect and form mounds on your roof. These increase the chances of ice dams in your gutter as when the snow mounds thaw, the water is collected in your gutter. If temperatures freeze again, ice dams form and water builds up and overflows. To prevent this happening, you can hire a professional to clear the snow on your roof safely and efficiently.