Winter gutter maintenance is necessary for safe, secure, long-lasting roofs. You might think gutter care becomes less important once the rain turns to snow, but the opposite is true — you need to stay on top of it throughout the snowy season or else ice dam buildup and blockages can wreak havoc on your roof and drastically reduce its life span!
Top Priority: Unclog the Gutters and Downspouts
The top priority for winter gutter maintenance is clearing out the gutters and downspouts. Leaves and sticks can quickly pile up, especially during the fall, and this can cause a problem for your water drainage system in that it won’t actually drain the water — instead, it will pool in your gutters and freeze.
This is a problem for a number of reasons, but the main cause of early roof failure is repeated ice dams. When snow isn’t allowed to melt and drain efficiently because of frozen gutters, the moisture backs up under the shingles and contributes to mold growth, degrading insulation and rot.
As winter goes along and temperatures drop lower and stay lower, a heavy block of ice in your gutters prohibits melting snow from making its way off your roof. Your gutters get heavier and heavier, which may lead to sagging and a decrease in performance.
Check the Seams for Rust or Leaks
The next step is to check the seams, where the gutters connect with each neighboring system component. The seams are usually the weaker points, since they are more susceptible to rust and leaks. This is where the weight of snow and ice can really take a toll, so make sure you check these components for wear and tear before the heavy winter precipitation starts piling up.
Inspect the Anchors for Security
The anchors are those vital components that keep the gutters attached to the house. They must be firmly secured, or else your water drainage system is at risk of falling off the house. If the anchors are loose, they should be repaired before winter.
Look Out for Rot
Rot on the inside of your roof due to ice dams isn’t good, but rotting fascia boards (the exterior wooden surfaces where your gutters are attached) also point to signs of trouble. Frequent gutter overflows and inefficient draining can lead to this side effect, so if you aren’t sure if your gutters need maintenance, just check the fascia boards for any problematic symptoms.
Wizard Screens and Gutter can take care of your winter gutter maintenance. Call us today to schedule an appointment and we will get your water drainage system working efficiently before it’s too late.