Prep Your Gutters for Winter Weather
While you may have taken care of a variety of tasks in order to button up your home for winter weather—from replacing weather stripping to closing-up the fireplace—chances are, you neglected your gutters.
The problem is, ignored, clogged or underperforming gutters have the potential to wreak havoc on your home during the coldest months of the year, according to The Brothers That Just Do Gutters, Ken and Ryan Parsons. Here, they share the top five ways to get your gutters ready for winter weather.
Clean out debris. Remove leaves and other debris from gutters, as waste will clog your gutter system and create an environment ripe for ice dams. Ice dams can degrade your home’s roof, walls, foundation and ability to insulate.
Install guards. Adding gutter guards will help prevent such buildup in the first place. Available in a variety of styles and finishes, make your selection based on your budget and climate.
Use heat. Installing a deicing cable as a heating system for your gutters and roof is a viable option to prevent ice dams and even melt away ones that have begun to form.
Repair holes. Find and repair any holes in your gutters immediately, as leaks will divert water from the appropriate downspouts and cause it to trickle down the side of your home. This can cause water damage like rot and mold, as well as weaken your home’s foundation. You can make a patch with the same material as your gutters and install it with roofing cement.
Look for malformations. Check for sagging gutters and fix or replace them. Slumping gutters will cause a buildup of water and debris. Remove problem areas and replace damaged screws, brackets or entire sections as needed.
While it is possible to complete some or all of the above tasks on your own, you may save time and money by hiring a professional. This will also help provide the peace of mind that your gutters are in good shape and your home is protected.