Let’s face it, this has been a weird winter in the Twin Cities so far. We’ve had subzero wind chills, warm days where the snow melts and turns our yards to mud, and high winds blowing everything from dirt to ice around. Winter is hard on a home here in Minnesota, and one of the casualties is often the gutter system. Without the proper care, gutters can freeze up, causing damage both to the gutters as well as the roof edge and even more.
Severe cold temperatures can make anything freeze in or outside of the home. It is important that you think about your gutters and how the outdoor temperature could affect them. You want to make sure that standing water inside them doesn’t freeze and cause further problems. Ice dams are also common in the winter months and can pull up the shingles or other roofing materials. This can leave the roof exposed, resulting in water leaks inside your home. That could mean structural damage to both the interior and exterior.
These simple steps can help you reduce the chances of having problems caused by frozen gutters and the ice dams that build up when that happens.
Clean Out Those Gutters!
The gutters and downspouts around your home should be cleaned from debris and anything else that might be clogging them. You want to make sure that water can run through them without running into problems. We recommend you clean out your gutters several times a year. At a minimum, this should be done in the fall after all the leaves have fallen from the trees surrounding your home, and then again in the spring to clear out winter muck.
If you didn’t get your gutters cleaned before winter hit, take a look at the long range forecast, because it appears we have some fairly mild weather coming in the next couple of weeks, with several days close to 40°. There might be a window of time there for you to get it done.
Properly Size and Slope Gutters
The proper size of the gutters is determined by a number of factors, the most important of which are the size of the drainage area (roof space) and the roof pitch. Roof pitch is particularly important, because water will run more quickly off a steep roof and the gutters need to be large enough to handle the water. When in doubt, go with a larger system than you think you might need.
Gutters should fit perfectly against the roof edge. In addition to this, they should also be sloped so that the water can run away from the home. Without the proper slope, the water might sit inside the gutters and not move anywhere. You need the water to move once it reaches the gutters and then come out the downspout.
Figuring these things out can be a little complicated, and it’s just one reason why we suggest you have a professional gutter contractor install your gutters.
Remove Snow From the Roof
Here in Minnesota, our roofs see a lot of the snow throughout the winter. And our winters can be long, sometimes up to almost 6 months of snow. And we can get storms where large amounts of wet snow accumulate in a short time. Not only is the weight hard on your home’s structure, but all that snow will eventually turn to water that your gutters have to handle. The best thing you can do is get that snow off the roof rather than let it build up, where it can melt and re-freeze in your gutters. Eliminating the source of the ice is a good way to prevent frozen gutters.
If you find that you do have ice dams or you want someone to come out and assess the roof and gutters of the home, Window Outfitters can help you with all of those things. We can help you get the functioning gutter system you need, without the hassle that ice and snow can bring come the winter months. Give us a call today and let us know your needs!