When matched with a solid roof, a well-designed gutter can effectively keep your home safe, dry, and protected from the elements. But the real test of gutter strength and performance happens during winter. It is one thing to effectively keep rainwater out, and quite another trying to prevent snow and ice buildup. In this post, we take a look at the importance of a clean and clog-free gutter during winter, and how gutter guards can help prevent problems related to snow and ice.
Why Winterizing Your Gutters is Important
Winterizing your gutters should be a top priority once the cold weather rolls around. Preparing them for winter ensures that they can combat the unique problems that snow and ice can bring. Keeping your gutters clean is always important, but even more so when the weather begins to turn nasty, for three primary reasons:
It helps prevent ice dams from forming
The role of gutters is pretty simple: they channel water that hits your roof into your downspouts, which in turn divert the water away from the home’s foundation and into drainage systems. If the gutters are clogged, water and melted snow is more likely to back up. The cold winter temperatures can freeze the water and melted snow at the edge of the roof, resulting in ice dam and icicle formation.
It protects the home’s foundation
Another problem caused by clogged gutters is water pooling around the basement or foundation of the home. Standing water is never a good thing, but you must be doubly alarmed if it’s near the foundation or basement, as it can cause significant damage to concrete.
It helps eliminate pests
Gutters clogged with leaves from the last fall can lead to standing water, which can invite different kinds of pests, particularly mosquitoes and rodents. These pests can not only cause damage to the gutters and roof, but also bring forth health issues.
Preventing Winter-Related Problems with Gutter Guards
If you are living in an area such as Missouri, which receives a lot of snowfall during winter, it is recommended that you get a winter-ready gutter guard. Getting a gutter guard installed can help you avoid water pooling, snow accumulation, and ice dam formation. How, exactly, do they work?
When winter storms blow in, they can bring a lot of snow that’ll certainly put extra weight and strain on your roof. The potential issues don’t stop there, however. When the snowfall stops and the sun begins to shine, the snow will melt. If your gutters aren’t clean as they should be, the water from the melting snow will most likely back up and pool on the roof, then eventually refreeze to form heavy ice dams that could damage your roofing system over time.
Gutter guards provide an effective barrier against debris and waste, keeping leaves, nests, and even dead animals out – thereby preventing clogging.
If you want to learn more about how gutter guards can help you keep your gutters in good condition and help you protect your entire roof system, consult a home improvement professional.
Lisa Sanning is a co-owner of Xterior Pro. A passionate home improvement professional, she loves writing blogs to share her experiences, knowledge on home improvement, and everything in between. Outside work, she is a loving wife and mother to three kids.