Cincinnati winters are known to be long and cold. One of the tasks to get ready for winter in Cincinnati is to winterize your outdoor patio, siding, roofing, and gutters. One way to keep your gutters in good condition over the winter season is to perform gutter washing and gutter maintenance before the long winter begins. In this short guide, you will be informed of the top five tips to winterize your gutters.
- Trim back your branches
With all the rainwater from summer and early fall storms, shrubs, trees, and branches can grow quickly. Branches can overhang over your gutter troughs and cause leaves, twigs, seeds, and other debris to fall in. When autumn arrives, make sure to trim back branches to prevent the gutters from becoming clogged, or even worse, damaged from an iced-over falling tree branch in the cold Cincinnati winter wind!
- Clean out your gutters
The next best tip to ready your gutters for winter is to clean them out, so there are no clogs when the first snowstorm arrives. If your troughs are full of leaves and fall foliage, the snow and ice melt will not drain properly and can overflow the gutter, or even worse, weigh them down to the point they could detach from the house and need re-installation. Make sure to clean out your gutters of all the seeds, twigs, leaves, and debris right before winter arrives.
- Hire a professional
Just as you would call for a professional to perform HVAC maintenance, chimney repairs, power washing, simple remodeling, exterior painting, or roofing repairs, you want to do the same when cleaning out your gutters for fall. If you are a novice and have never performed gutter washing or gutter maintenance before or you do not have the knowledge or time to perform the task, hire a professional team or a local handyman with experience to complete the job for you.
- Inspect your gutters before winter
A great tip to winterize your gutters this fall is to check your gutters and troughs for any damage or repairs that need to be made. That way you can complete the gutter repairs before the winter sets in. By inspecting and repairing the gutters before winter, this will also give you an idea of what damage occurred to the gutters over the winter when you perform your inspection and gutter maintenance in the spring.
- Use heat tape and de –icer
The last great tip for winterizing your gutters is to install heat tape on the gutters. This causes heat to be produced to remove the ice blockage that can occur from water being frozen in the gutter and troughs. If left untreated, ice blockage can create water damage on the roof as the water doesn't flow freely through the drainage system due to clogged gutters from ice. De-icer is used in the same way for the same reasons, with the chemical compound of de-icer melting the ice rather than heat thawing the ice that has stopped up the drain.
As you can see, there are multiple tips to winterize your gutters. If you perform gutter washing and gutter maintenance in the late fall before the ice and snow hits, your gutters will be in great shape and ready for the next spring storm. If you follow our advice on the top five tips to winterize your gutters, you will have damage-free, clean gutters when spring finally arrives in Cincinnati!