Mind in the Gutter: How to Protect Your Gutters from Winter Damage
Winter storms are some of the biggest contributors home damage in the United States, with water damage alone costing over $2,000 on average to fix. Some experts refer to this as the “hidden cost” of winter, and it’s not just limited to frozen pipes or roof collapse: your gutters can sustain damage in the colder months as well, and this can lead to interior and exterior water damage. Here are a few ways to prepare your gutters for winter’s snow and ice.
Keep your Gutters Clear
As always, you should keep your gutters clear of leaves, snow, ice, and debris. When the gutter becomes clogged, it can cause water to backup or overflow. You’ll also want to remove any excess snow and ice from piling up in your gutters after a big storm. If you have trouble reaching your home’s gutters, look for a quality gutter cleaning maintenance service. Be sure that they clean and inspect the gutters at least twice a year, and ask if they can also perform gutter repairs as needed.
Look for Design Flaws
Your gutter’s downspout should direct water at least ten feet away from your home’s foundation. If you notice that water is pooling close to the side of the house, it may be time to look into a new gutter installation. If you notice that there is debris or water in the gutters that doesn’t come out the downspout, there may be an improper bend in the gutter. Likewise, make sure that your shingles push water into the gutter, rather than over it, as this can also cause flooding around the foundation.
Inspect for Structural Damage
Of course, you should always be on the lookout for rotting, corrosion, bangs and dents, or missing parts. Gutters are fairly simple pieces of technology, so one missing or broken piece can mean leaks and water damage. Contact your local gutter repairs team if you notice any damage before the next snow storm.
Gutter maintenance may not be high on your priority list this holiday season, but taking the time to take care of your gutters will protect your home for years to come. Taking the steps to inspect and repair your gutters now will mean more time to enjoy the winter months with your loved ones and less time spent dealing with unexpected flooding.