Gutters play a very important role in protecting your home against water damage.
Inclement weather can cause damage to the gutters and render them incapable of collecting and guiding water away from walls and foundation. Gutters become particularly susceptible to damage during the winter, especially when it starts to snow and low temperatures cause the water to freeze. It is essential that they are free from any blockages and not damaged in any way. To ensure the gutters stay free from damage, have them regularly cleaned and maintained.
Snow and Ice Build Up
Ice build up is one way in which harsh winter weather can play havoc with your guttering system. Ice build up in the gutters can restrict proper drainage of melted snow to the downspouts. The clogged snow and ice in the gutters causes the water to overflow and creates long icicles over the lip of the gutters.
The Formation of Ice Dams
Another major and equally damaging problem that can occur in winter is that of ice dams. Ice dams form when snow starts to build up on the roof of your house. With time, even if the temperatures are below freezing, this snow begins to melt. It happens because the heat from inside your home warms the roof and melts the snow. The melted snow then enters the gutters, which are usually colder than the roof, and re-freezes. This creates an ice dam that prevents proper drainage of the run-off.
Ice dams prolong the overexposure to moisture. When the ice begins to melt slowly with time, water tends to enter below the shingles, beneath the tar paper, and ultimately into the plywood, causing extensive damage to the fascia, soffit, and the roof.
Preventing Ice Build Up and Ice Dams
St. Louis guttering technicians recommend that the only way to prevent ice build up and ice dams is to clean the gutters before winter sets in. Schedule the clean up once all the leaves have fallen. This step is important because clogged gutters will accelerate ice damming and cause the gutters to overflow when they fill up with snow and ice. To prevent the snow from melting on your roof, make sure that the roof is properly ventilated and that no warm air is able to escape.
Another way that your gutters can get damaged during the harsh winter is with the excessive weight of the snowfall. However, if the gutters are properly installed, they will be able to bear the weight easily. In some situations, when the snowfall is too heavy, even properly installed gutters may succumb to the weight. So, you can ask your guttering company to put in place some additional protective measures to prevent the gutters from breaking away from the hangers and falling down to the ground.
If you think your gutters are not in the right state to cope up with a harsh winter, contact a St. Louis guttering company for help. Call Scott-Lee Guttering Company at (314) 756-9440. We will prepare your gutters for the winter and ensure that your home is safe from all kinds of water damage.