A Guide to Protecting Your Gutters This Winter

A Guide to Protecting Your Gutters This Winter

February 15, 2020

One of the winterization steps you need to take on your property each year is ensuring your gutters are prepared for the cold weather that’s coming, and the snow and ice that comes with it. Michigan winters can get quite cold, and the elements can cause significant damage to gutter installations in Traverse City, MI if you don’t stay on top of some simple maintenance tasks.

With this in mind, here are a few of the steps you can take to winterize your gutters and make sure they’re protected for the entire season:

  • Clean out your gutters: If you only do one thing on this list, make it this! Cleaning them is the most important step you can take to keep your gutters in good condition. The more debris (leaves, twigs, dirt) that collects in your gutters, the more problems you will experience if you don’t clear it out. All this debris can clog up gutters, preventing water from flowing through them and causing overflows that can freeze on the ground, creating tripping hazards. In addition, water and snow that get trapped inside the gutters can freeze, causing the gutters to get extremely heavy and start to pull away from the fascia.
  • Trim trees: If you have trees that shed their leaves late, they could continue to have leaves falling into the gutters after winter begins. You can trim back some of the branches close to your roof if this will be helpful—just make sure you talk to a tree care professional to make sure any trimming you perform will not harm your trees.
  • Install heat tape: Water that freezes in the gutters during winter can cause ice dams and other forms of damage. A professional can come out to your property to install heat tape or electric heating cables for your gutters. These items produce extra heat to prevent water from freezing in strategic locations, ensuring a constant flow inside your gutters during the winter months to prevent ice dams and buildup that can create damage.
  • De-icing compounds: If you know your home has specific problem spots that tend to see more snow and ice accumulation, you can create de-icing barriers or use de-icing compounds designed to melt ice and snow before they slide off the roof. This prevents ice dams from building up inside your gutters. You can fill an old pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride or other de-icing compounds and lay it on the roof. This will melt the snow and ice when it starts to build up, allowing water to flow down as normal to prevent potential sagging or breaks in the gutters and their hinges.

These are just a few examples of some of the preventative measures you can implement to prevent damage to your gutters throughout the winter months. To learn more about the types of preventative maintenance that are important to gutters, or to schedule gutter installation for your home in Traverse City, MI, reach out to the team at Qualified Roofing today.

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