Winter is officially upon us here in the tristate area, and your home is already feeling the burden. It’s a season we can be most thankful for the shelter our homes provide, but there is some crucial maintenance you want to complete to ensure your home gets through the season without serious damage. Since ice expands as it forms, your gutters in particular will require attention, and today we want to review a few items you want to make sure you complete to avoid more costly repairs down the road.
First, clear your gutters of any debris. While fallen leaves, twigs, and other matter are always a concern for well maintained gutters, they become more serious as the temperatures fall. Water that is backed up or pooled around this debris freezes and expands, pushing outward on your gutters. What’s more, as ice forms, it creates larger blockages so further waterfall is held up, further freezing and expanding.
With these blockages, you may see your gutters begin to sag, which is why the second thing you want to do is check on the mounting for all of your gutters. As the gutters sag, it creates a self perpetuating cycle, wherein water pools at the sagging spot, further weighing your gutters down and causing them to sag even more. What’s more, sagging gutters won’t drain properly because as water falls from your roof, the gutters are no longer properly positioned to capture that water. This leads to water pooling by your home’s foundation, freezing and causing damage there.
The third item you’ll want to check when inspecting your gutters in the winter is leaks. As the ice forms and damages your gutters, small leaks, particularly at seams on sectional gutters or end caps on any gutter system, will form. As the water freezes again, it expands and forces those leaks open wider. The cyclical nature of winters in the Cincinnati area are particularly abusive for this, as we often see temperatures climb and drop many times in a given week, causing more damage than an extended freeze might cause.
Finally, you’ll want to check that your gutters are draining properly. Downspouts should be set at least ten feet from your home, preventing flooding and damage to your foundation. There are also additional opportunities for blockages, as the bends and angles of a downspout create spots where debris that got back the gutters themselves may get caught, furthering the ice damage cycle seen above.
These are some of the basic items to watch for when preparing your home’s gutters for the winter. Always remember our qualified staff are ready to help, our repair and inspection service is an excellent place to start in ensuring your home is safe and dry during this season. Calling us today will help give you peace of mind!