Protect Your Home Gutter System This Winter

Nov 15, 2013

Here in the Midwest, we have it pretty easy, as far as bad winter weather is concerned. Even though we’ve already seen a significant change in the outdoor temperature this season, we’re still snow and ice free. Those folks who live up north in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana (or Alaska, for that matter), have been digging themselves out of snow and ice for weeks. It kinda feels good to look at the national weather forecast each morning, and see that we’re not due for any of the white stuff for a handful of weeks yet. Now, with so much time to prepare before the first snowfall accumulation (sometime in mid-December, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac), we thought that we’d give our valued readers a few tips on taking care of your gutters before the first snowfall hits.

Modern gutters are pretty durable, well manufactured, and capable of handling great volumes of rainwater and snowmelt—but only if they’re clear of debris! You may have heard about how important it is to clean your gutters of all the leaves and other debris that accumulate over the spring, summer, and autumn, but you may not know why it’s so important. Obviously, a clogged gutter and downspout isn’t able to do the job it was built to do. During periods of heavy rain, a clogged gutter overflows and you often see sheets of water cascading over the edge of the gutter along the roofline. During the winter season, when snow begins to accumulate on the roof, this overflow problem becomes much worse.  When snow melts off the roof of your home (which is normal, considering your home is warmer than the outside air), it runs into the gutter (which is as cold as the outside air). So, if your gutter is clogged with debris, the snowmelt tends to freeze and pile up. This creates an ice dam in the guttering. Ever see a home with a beautiful line of icicles running the length of the roofline? It’s pretty, but it isn’t beneficial.

The problem with ice build-up in your gutters, aside from the fact that the water from the snowmelt can back up and start to seep between the shingles into your home, is the fact that the average home gutter system isn’t set up to hold several hundreds of pounds of ice indefinitely. This heavy ice weight is a danger to the guttering system, as well as the wood to which it is attached (not to mention anyone beneath the ice-filled gutters when they pull away from the house and come crashing down).  Fortunately, a little gutter cleaning is a pretty easy job for a Saturday afternoon. All you need to keep your gutters clear of debris and working well through the winter months is a sturdy ladder, a hose, and a telescoping gutter cleaning tool (you can find those at most home improvement stores).

Keep this in mind: If you need high-quality seamless guttering, Continental Siding is one of the top Kansas City guttering companies. We have 4″ and 5″ and 6″ residential guttering, as well as 7″ for commercial use. We can even install Gutter Shields to prevent clogged gutters!

This article was brought to you by Continental Siding in Kansas City, your Midwest siding company. We’re a leading provider of home improvement products and services that aim to help them keep homes looking great and performing well.

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