Getting your home ready for winter weather can be an exhaustive process. And while we’ve already advised on how to winterize your home best and check your windows before the worst of the cold sets in, there’s something you might be missing: your gutters. That’s right; your gutters play an essential role in protecting your home over the winter months. However, if they aren’t cleaned and protected before the coming season, you risk harming your roof and walls with water damage. So, to ensure you’re prepared, allow Doerr Siding & Window to give you advice for prepping and protecting your gutters.
How Cold Weather Affects Un-Prepared Gutters
Ideally, if you’re reading this blog, you’re already considering what to do with your gutters before December. However, if you’re still unsure about how cold weather can affect your gutters, here are a few examples of the potential problems you may face.
- Ice Dams – The biggest issue you’ll find with gutters in freezing temperatures is the potential for ice dams. Often, ice dams will occur if there are blockages in your gutters that allow water to pool. This standing water will freeze, causing a further blockage. Furthermore, as these ice dams melt, they can slowly begin to seep under your roofline.
- Damaged Downspouts – Again, related to blockages and ice dams, you might find your downspouts to be taking on more damage. As downspouts are entirely enclosed, freezing water will expand and place pressure on the inside. This pressure will often lead to bending and cracking of the material, compromising your downspout.
- Sagging Gutters – Sections of gutters already stressed from years of use can be pushed beyond their limit with the presence of ice. And the more your gutter begins to sag, the more water, snow and ice is likely to settle in the dip. Such pressure can cause the gutter to fall after a while, sometimes bringing soffit and fascia boards with it.
All these issues, separate or combined, cause your gutter system to no longer be as efficient as it should be. And when gutters can’t carry water away from your roof and the base of your home, you risk severe water damage to parts of your house, fairly costly to repair or replace.
What Can Be Done to Protect Your Gutters?
Thankfully, there’s still time to ensure your gutters are ready come winter. And to make sure everything is done right, it’s best to hire a professional to assist with preparing your gutter system.
- Clean Your Gutters – While we always suggest a professional gutter cleaning is the best gutter cleaning, this is one of the few preparations you can do by yourself. Ensuring your gutters are free of leaves, dirt and other debris helps prevent ice dams once freezing temperatures hit.
- Address Weak Spots – If you know your gutters are dented or bending in certain areas, these issues should be addressed ASAP. Sometimes all it takes is a simple realignment to make sure your gutters can withstand pressure from ice and snow. Otherwise, you might need pieces of your gutter replaced ahead of time.
- Replace Rotting Wood – Even if your gutters are straight and unblemished, they can easily collapse if they’re attached to rotting soffit or fascia. And melting snow and ice are only going to make matters worse. So, if you’re not sure your fascia boards and soffit will last the season, let a contractor swap them out.
- Get Gutter Guards – Rather than letting debris continue to fall into your gutters, increasing the likelihood of ice dams, have gutter guards installed for your home. While gutter guards won’t keep ice and snow out, they can prevent your gutters from getting clogged up from everything else. And the best part is, gutter guards are excellent for use all year long.
Help from the Experts
While there’s plenty that can be done to prepare your gutters for winter, much of it must be handled by gutter professionals. And thankfully for you, Doerr Siding & Window has the gutter experience you need. Whether you need to replace entire portions of your gutters or need a simple cleaning, we can lend a hand. Also, we can further prepare your home with roof, siding, door and window maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about what we can provide or ask about our gutter services, call us today at 309-694-9561. Also, we are located at 603 Pinecrest Dr, East Peoria, IL 61611.