How to Avoid Winter Gutter Problems

Gutter problems can mean trouble at any time of the year, but it’s more than likely that winter is the season you will start to really see the negative effects of a subpar water drainage system.

gutter problem

Are your gutters showing any of the harmful symptoms listed below? If so, what can you do to limit damage and prevent future gutter problems?

Clogs Lead to Ice Buildup

One of the most common gutter problems homeowners face is a stubborn clog in the downspout.

You may be able to extract all the debris from the open gutters that run along the roof’s edge, but it’s harder to remove the leaves and sticks that have made their home in your downspout. This is less of an issue in the fall, when temperatures are still warm enough for rain to flow freely, which can help move the clog out of the drainage system.

But in winter, clogs cause more serious gutter problems. The water that’s supposed to be flowing freely out of the drain instead freezes and blocks the downspout. Snow melts and simply turns to ice again, clogging up the entire gutter. It’s much harder to remove ice than leaves and sticks, so make sure you rid all clogs before temperatures drop.

Heavy Ice Damages Gutters

If the clog isn’t removed, the gutters fill with water and it all turns to ice. Your gutters aren’t designed to hold ice — they’re meant to facilitate a fast-flowing stream of water down and out of the system.

Heavy ice causes gutters to pull away from the roof. Ice can cause metal gutters to break, rust and bend. When spring comes, your gutter problems aren’t over, because now you have a system that needs to be either repaired or replaced before it can handle springtime rainstorms.

Ice Dams Lead to Water Damage

The central cause of an ice dam is a problem with the roof’s ventilation, but gutter problems can contribute to the issue as well.

If the gutters are clogged and aren’t quickly draining melting snow in the winter, ice can build up under the roof, backing up underneath the shingles and contributing to water damage that has the potential to spread throughout the home.

Improper Drainage Affects the Foundation

Finally, gutter problems can affect one of the most important parts of your home: the foundation. If you don’t have a drainage system that directs water away from the base of the house, water can pool and freeze next to the foundation, potentially causing the concrete to spall and crack.

Wizard Screens & Gutter can help you avoid all of these winter gutter problems. Call today to schedule a cleaning, and we will ensure your home’s water drainage system is performing correctly this winter.