Every winter comes with at least a few blankets of snow and ice. Sometimes these are serene coatings that fall early on a Sunday morning, but sometimes they fall heavy and fast, shutting entire towns down. Both types of snowfalls can cause damage to the gutters on your home, so taking the right preventative measures is crucial for protecting them.
As snow falls, the gutters will inevitably fill with snow if they are uncovered. Even covered gutters experience the weight of the snow, and over time, this regular weight can buckle, tear, or completely detach the gutters from the house. Not only is gutter replacement expensive but damaged gutters can also cause costly damage to the home. Fallen gutters often tear the fascia board from the house, as well, while ripped or buckled gutters cannot drain properly, resulting in water damage to the house throughout the year.
Ice dams are another common problem on roofs, and these put a lot of strain on the gutters as they increase in size. When the warmth from the house radiates through the roof, the bottom layer of snow resting on the roof starts to melt. This water then runs down to the edges of the roof, where the surface is much colder, and it freezes into a layer of ice. The cycle continues until the dam of ice at the edge of the roof – usually on top of the gutters – inhibits the flow of any more water from the roof. Sitting water as a result of an ice dam can leak under the roof and cause water damage to the home.
Fortunately, there are a few measures you can take to prevent this kind of damage. One step you can take right now is to regularly clear the roof of snow and ice. A snow rake can safely brush the snow and ice off without harming the roof, and this can be done after every moderate snowfall to avoid ice damming and excess weight on the gutters. Additionally, you should ensure the downspouts and gutters are clear of any debris. This permits the efficient drainage of any melted snow, which reduces the risk of ice dams. Accessing the roof yourself to complete these tasks can be very unsafe, so consider hiring a professional to do this job.
There are also some longer term solutions for preserving the gutters during winter. First, have the roof and attic thoroughly insulated, which helps stop snow from melting and creating ice dams. Next, consider having covered gutters installed. The K-Guard gutter system, for example, features a hood that can reduce the risk of damage to the gutters by ice. Much stronger than traditional gutters, the K-Guard gutter has a hood that can withstand up to 60 pounds of weight per square foot of gutter. In addition, the system comes with high strength polymer hangers spaced every 24 inches to securely fasten the gutter to the house.
For assistance removing snow or debris from gutters or to learn more about having your own K-Guard gutter system, contact the Gutterman of TN of the Nashville area. If you take the right steps now, your gutters and house will thank you later.