Gutter Maintenance in the Winter Season
Published: 09/30/2010 by SeamlessGuttersToday.com Article Team
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Ice, heavy snow, and winter storms wreak havoc on your gutters. Ice blockages in the trough can create standing water, which if neglected, can freeze your gutters and cause them to warp and rip. If enough water backs up, it could also cause overflow, spilling freezing water onto your walkways. Here are a few tips to help you clear your gutters in the midst of winter.
- Plan ahead by making certain your gutters are clear at the start of winter. A thorough cleaning makes ice dams after a freeze or a storm a much less likely scenario.
- Invest in insulation for your attic. This will cut down on heat loss through your roof and, as a result, reduce energy costs and ice dams.
- Clear any ice dams that have formed on your roofline with a roof rake or a push broom. These can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to the interior of your home and should be cleared immediately.
- Always use extra caution when cleaning gutters in the winter – check and double check to make certain your ladder is firmly planted on solid, level ground, free from any ice or snow.
- If the gutters are too high, or if you feel uncomfortable about being on a ladder, hire a professional service to clean for you. The cost of a cleaning service is much less expensive than a hospital visit, and infinitely less expenive than your life.
- Should you find that ice is forming in your gutters and blocking your downspout, use a chisel or pick to gently chip the ice away. The gutters are already under a massive amount of weight stress, so be careful not too use excess force — this will also prevent accidental damage to your gutter.
- Using hot water to melt ice dams and the ice in the gutter channel is recommended as a quick fix only if you have a hot water source for your garden hose and a spray nozzle attachment. Only use water from a source hot enough to melt the ice – if the water refreezes too quickly, you could just be creating more problems for yourself.