How to Keep Gutters From Freezing in the Winter

There are several things you can do to make sure that your gutters do not freeze and cause damage to your home during the winter months. Understanding what to do in specific settings is integral to maintaining the longevity of your roof. Although cleaning gutters and maintaining them could seem tedious, having clean gutters is one of the best ways to prevent future damage to your house. A clogged gutter system leads to frozen gutters which create a multitude of complications that lead to excessive roof damage.

Check your rain gutter slope

Keeping your gutters safe and clean during winter weather is incredibly important to prevent the need for gutter repair or even gutter replacement. 

Checking your rain gutter slope is a great first step to start protecting your home from water damage. Incorrect slopes can cause standing water to pool and ice to form on the roof. These problems can lead to costly repairs.

If you notice clogging or leaks in your gutters, it may be a sign that you don’t have seamless gutters. This can cause major gutter problems and will require roof repair. Contacting a gutter cleaning service is the best way to maintain the longevity of your gutters. Having some form of gutter protection, whether you have steel gutters or aluminum gutters can make sure that gutter damage never even takes place. As well as repairing broken gutters, regular gutter services will ensure your gutters perform at their best throughout the year. 

A good way to check if your gutters will perform as intended is to find the optimal angle. If you’re unsure of your slope, use an adjustable level to measure it. A simple rule of thumb is to have a quarter-inch slope for every 10 feet of gutter. This means that your gutters should be sloping towards the downspout. If your gutter installation was incorrect, calling a company for gutter maintenance is incredibly important to make sure your house and roof are as safe as possible. 

Along with your gutter system, the downspout should be a little sloped as well. A good downspout should be 5/8 of an inch higher than the lowest point of your gutter. The idea is to make sure that any snow that melts or rains from before the winter keeps moving and doesn’t sit and freeze. Checking your gutters eliminates the possibility of this and protects against future gutter damage and even roof damage.

Keep gutters clean

Keeping a clean gutter system is important in any season but it is especially critical in the winter months. During this time, winter gutter maintenance can be a chore, but heavy snowfall and cold temperatures can cause clogged gutters and ice dams to form which can cause damaged gutters and even roof damage. If these issues are not addressed, they can lead to water damage to your home.

Besides the obvious ice damage, clogged gutters can also cause damage to your home’s foundation. The weight of the ice can break even new gutters loose from your home. This results in an ice dam that can cause water to pool up and leak making the water avoid the downspout. This leaking allows mold and mildew growth on the exterior of your house.

Using a roof rake can help you remove built-up ice and snow from the roof. Having a gutter guard will prevent debris from clogging your gutters. This roof cleaning can help prevent these leaks caused by the buildup of ice and snow.

Take the snow off your roof

Taking the snow off your roof to keep gutters from freezing in the winter months is a great practice to prevent damage to your home. It also helps to prevent ice buildup, or ice dams, which clog up your gutters and can lead to rot and water damage to your home.

Another way to prevent ice dams and the problems that follow them is to have proper attic insulation. This is because heat from the attic can melt the snow on your roof. You can apply magnesium chloride, a nontoxic salt, to areas on your roof that tend to freeze, such as the edge. It won’t harm your pets or landscaping. Having this salt on the roofs greatly reduces the chances of the accumulation of ice leading to a healthier roof. 

You can also install heated gutter guards to help keep your gutters from freezing in the winter. These specialized guards are expensive but they allow you to not worry about your gutters freezing entirely making your job a lot easier. 

Add insulation to the roof

During the winter season, adding insulation to your roof is one of the best ways to prevent snow from melting in the winter weather. When the snow melts, it runs down the edges of the roof and refreezes when the temperature drops. This can cause water to build up on the roof and form an ice dam. This accumulated water can also damage the gutters, drywall, and paint making the damage much more severe.

Aside from preventing the melting of the snow, adding insulation to the roof will help keep the water inside your house. This is because the insulation will hold the heat from the inside and not let it get to the outside of your roof. This causes the snow to naturally melt or be shoveled off and will stop the liquid water from entering the gutters.

During the fall and winter, debris can build up in your gutters. When the water freezes, the debris weighs down the gutters and can cause them to break off. You can prevent this from happening by cleaning the gutters and downspouts every six months to avoid roofing repair.

Use a heated gutter cable

Using a heated gutter cable for your home’s gutters is a good way to keep your gutters from freezing in the winter months. It helps prevent ice damming, which can cause costly damage to your home and its foundation.

A heated cable is installed inside your gutter, usually along the roof line or at the bottom of the trough. The heat in the cable melts ice in your gutter and allows the water to drain away from the home. It can also be used to help thaw snow that is trapped in the gutter.

While heated cables can be very effective, they are not a permanent solution. If you have excessive amounts of snow in your area, you may need to take additional steps to protect your home.

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