With winter right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your gutters for the cold weather.
If you don’t take some preventative steps now, you could end up with clogged gutters and water damage to your home. Here are a few tips on how to get your gutters ready for winter.
- Garden hose
- gutter guards
- pipe cleaners
- downspout extenders, and
- cleaning solution
7 Easy Steps to Prepare Your Gutters For Winters
Step 1: Clear the Gutters
The leaves are beautiful. Aren’t they? But, they are not so great as strays. These leaves can be a nuisance for your gutters. So, pick a ladder, secure it, and scoop all the twigs and debris from the gutters.
If you live in an area with lots of deciduous trees, then you might have to perform this cleaning process more than a few times to avoid gutter clogs.
Don’t ignore this routine. Otherwise, the additional weight of snow, water and wet leaves can lead to severe damage.
Before you step up for the final scoop, make sure all the nearby trees have shed their leaves. This step is essential to protect your hard work. Moreover, you can use these greens and browns as mulch or compost.
Step 2: Clean The Gutters
Ensure that the gutters are free of leaves, twigs, debris and then clean the waterways. You can use a garden hose or power washer to accomplish this task. Apply some heavy-duty cleaning solution to tackle stubborn accumulations.
Step 3: Check The Gutters
Inspect the gutters carefully to find cracks, loose fixtures, holes or blockages. Look for anything that can pose a threat to your house. Run water through the gutters for better visibility.
You can quickly notice the problems on a clean surface. A crack or hole in your gutter system can damage your home and result in costly restoration.
Ensure there are no leaks at the gutter joints. If you find a clog in the downspout, use a long pipe cleaner, power washer and chemicals to cut through the blockages.
Tighten all the loose hangers and replace the broken ones. Don’t check the gutters or perform any replacement while it’s raining.
You might lose balance and fall on a slippery roof or ladder. Read on Tools To Clean Gutters Without a Ladder.
Step 4: Mount Hangers if the Gutters Are Sagging
Deploy hangers over the back edge and under the front edge of the gutters. The gutters remain strong once you attach hangers with them.
Step 5: Review The End Caps
End caps cover the finishing point of a gutter system. It stops the water from overflowing. Hence, the rainwater exits through the downspouts. So, this component is vital for the gutters. But, the caps deal with an enormous amount of pressure in case of heavy rainfall. Therefore, check them for any tears or cracks.
Step 6: Install a Gutter Guard
A gutter guard sits on the top of your house gutters and acts as a barrier. It stops all leaves and debris so that water can flow with no disturbance or blockage. Hence, you don’t have to clean the gutter mechanism frequently.
You can find easy to set up gutter guards. But, some of these screens need expert installation. Try one of them as per your expertise level.
Step 7: Extend The Downspouts
Downspouts are essential for the effective functioning of your house gutter mechanism. They never allow water to splash around the foundation and walls of your house. Hence, they protect your building from damages related to excess moisture and water deposits.
The downspouts take the water away from your access paths. Puddles at inappropriate spots can be a nuisance in summers. Plus, they can cause severe injuries in the winter after turning into slippery ice patches.
Extend the downspouts to avoid such incidents. They divert the water flow to the nearest drain. Even if a nearby drain is unavailable, you can deposit or direct the water away from your house.
Step 8: Prune Your Trees
Prune all the trees around your house to reduce leaves buildups, and debris accumulations on the gutters. Trees higher than your eaves contribute significantly to the number of leaves collected on your gutter system. The hard work will be fruitful in the future because you will deal with a low number of leaves, twigs and needles.
Step 9: Check For Leaks and Similar Damages
Inspect the attic, upstairs ceilings and upper crawlspace for potential leaks or damages. It’s better to check such symptoms after a rainstorm. Repair all the suspicious spots immediately. Contact the professionals if you cannot find the source of the water leak.
Step 10: Install Gutter and Roof Heating Cables
Installing a gutter heating mechanism is beneficial, especially if you live in a relatively colder region. You can try a heated cable designed for rooftop and gutter heating. Install this component when it’s dry outside, and you can safely use a ladder. Consult a professional if you are a beginner.
Contact the Professionals
Maintaining the gutters could be time-taking and risky, especially if you are a beginner. You can easily find companies or professionals to clean the house gutters. Consult them if you don’t want to climb a ladder to deal with waste leaves.
Why Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance is Important?
Clean gutters prevent a wide range of troubles, including:
Interior/exterior damage: Water cannot stay in one place. It has to flow somewhere, which is your house walls, foundation and basement in this case. When the gutters don’t perform efficiently, they let the water reach the roof and sides to create significant moisture-related damages. The moisture deposit also works as a breeding ground for mould and mildew.
Leaks: Water not diverted from your house gutters might come inside by dripping from ceilings and walls. The moisture and leaks destroy the paint, plaster, electronic fixtures, carpet and floors. You might have to invest a significant amount in their restoration.
How Do I Get Rid of Ice Dams in My Gutters?
You can deal with ice dams in the gutters by melting them. Try the following ways:
Use hot water: Run hot water over ice melt it and let the water pass out through the downspouts.
Install heat cable: Setup heat cables in the summer, so that they can melt the ice dams in winters. Consult an expert to understand whether you need a permanent or temporary installation to solve the problem.
Remove snow: Contact an expert to remove the snow if the summers are on the way. Otherwise, it will melt in under the sun rays and convert into dams again. Keep in mind that this task is only accomplished by professionals.
We gave you all the information required to prepare your house gutters for winter. Do you think this guide is helpful?
The first step to winterize your gutter mechanism is to clean it from debris and reduce weight on your house. Installing gutter guards is another intelligent idea to minimise leave accumulations.
With little hard work every year, you can keep your house foundations safe from damages. Hence, you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in repairs.
Last Updated on January 1, 2023