gutters

How to maintain your gutters during freezing temperatures

Winter causes damages to roads, cars, and even your home. One of the most vulnerable components would be your eavestroughs. Though gutter maintenance is usually done in the spring and fall, maintaining them in winter is also wise. Doing so increases the life of your gutters and ensures that any water from melting snow is sent away from the foundation of your home. Today we will discuss several ways to protect and repair any damages to your gutters caused during freezing temperatures.

Let’s get started.

Properly Sloped

The proper eavestrough slope helps water brain through the system efficiently by sending it quickly towards the downspout. If your find that your gutters are sagging or too flat, water will simply sit inside the trough. Therefore, when the temperature starts to drops, that sitting water is going to freeze, which results in warping and other damages to the gutter. Be sure to adjust the slope before winter comes to its full effect to prevent ice from building up and causing inadequate drainage.

Nice and Clean

Though you should have already done this throughout the spring and fall, you need to keep your gutters clean throughout winter too. Make sure the eavestroughs are free of debris, such as large sticks, twigs, leaves, and anything else that might be stuck in there. Debris can damage the troughs as well as get stuck, preventing proper drainage. Again, the result of a blocked flow would be water backing up and freezing overnight.

Roof Heater

Did you know that attic insulation plays a part in keeping your gutters from freezing? When an attic can retain the heat from inside the home, it has a residual effect on the gutters by minimizing snow melt. It might sound contradictory, but having melting snow flood your gutters can both weigh them down, causing sagging, and may also result in freezing and clogs.

If you find that your roof or attic is lacking in insulation, you might want to consider hiring a professional that is proficient in roof heater or gutter heating cable installation. Cables, for instance, run along the entire gutter system of your roof and aid in ice dam removal as well as improving melting so that water flows to the downspouts more readily and doesn’t stay frozen for too long.

Thaw Iced Eavestroughs

Icicles look pretty, but there’s a number of reasons why you don’t want to see them along your gutter system. First, melting icicles are dangerous. Second, they can get quite heavy and might detach your eavestrough from the roof, which takes time and money to repair. One way to melt frozen gutters is to use sodium chloride, or plain table salt, to melt it. Never use rock salt, since this can corrode metal gutters.

The second method for thawing frozen gutters is to use an ice pick and chisel. However, do keep in mind that this can quite a risky task. Make sure all precautions are taken before you start breaking the ice apart. For significant freezing, hiring a professional is a smart and safe move.

Gutter maintenance is something you should be thinking about year-round, because your gutters never have a season where they are given a break. Winter is one of the harshest seasons of all, so ensuring that your eavestroughs are protected against freezing temperatures is important. Use the above mentioned tips to maintain your gutter; and remember that if you have any significant freezing or damages do to ice that hiring a professional is recommended.