Winter is here and if you live in New Richmond, Wisconsin or the surrounding area that means plenty of snow and cold weather. Have you prepared your gutters for winter? A little ice, snow, and wind can wreak havoc on your gutters as they function as the first line of defense for your home. Without proper winterization, your gutters can clog, sag and crack creating problems inside your home when the ice begins to melt in the spring. Here are some tips to help you winterize your home and protect your gutters from ice damage.
When twigs and leaves clog gutters during winter, rainwater and melting snow can overflow, entering your attic and freezing on the ground. The water creates a slipping hazard and water damage to your home. Before winter begins, remove all of the debris from your gutters. To clean your gutters first remove large objects with a spade or wear gloves and remove them by hand. Next, check the slope of your gutter system. Make sure it is correctly positioned to move water toward your downspouts. Finally, make sure downspouts are directed away from your home’s foundation to ensure water does not enter your basement.
Leaves can continue to fall into your gutters even after the winter begins. Reduce risk by trimming back any tree branches near your roof. Snow and ice can also cause weakened limbs to snap and damage your home’s roof and gutters. Removing overhanging limbs can reduce risk.
In winter, water can freeze in your gutters creating ice dams. The dams can cause ice and snow to accumulate and can result in severe water damage to your home in spring. Have a professional install heat tape or an electric heating cable to your gutters. These cables produce a lot of heat and if not installed properly can cause significant damage.That is why it’s a job best left to professionals.
If you have an area where more ice and snow accumulates, create a de-icing barrier. Simply fill an old pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride and lay them across the roof. The chemicals will melt snow and ice, and the water will flow away, preventing sagging gutters and broken hinges.
Proper gutter cleaning and winterization can protect your home from damage all winter long. The best course of action is to call a professional to winterize your home. If you live in New Richmond, Wisconsin and the surrounding communities give All Exteriors LLC a call. Let us help you prepare your home for winter, quickly and affordably!