How To Proof Your Gutters For Winter
Winter has a habit of arriving without warning and well before many people are prepared for it, especially in parts of the country where summer tends to last well into the fall, and then, without warning, mutate into full-blown winter misery. Not having your gutters properly winter proofed can turn into a disaster and end up costing you money and time. Below are some tips for making sure that your gutters are proofed for winter.
Remove the leaves. Throughout the fall, your gutters, especially if you live in an area with a large number and variety of deciduous trees, will have accumulated a lot of leaves. The leaves can cause blockages, which end up directing water onto the side of your home, causing water damage, which will cost money to fix.
Inspect for damage. You are going to want your gutters to be able to effectively redirect snow and ice melt during the winter and if they are full of holes, they are most definitely not going to be able to do this. A tube of roofing cement is able to quickly and effectively patch up holes and ensure that your gutters are able to do their job over the winter.
Repair leaking joints. If the joints between two gutters seem to be leaking, thoroughly remove any debris and water that may have accumulated around the joint, take a screwdriver and a wire brush, and rigorously scrape away any leftover sealant. Secondly, recoat the area with new gutter sealer, which should be available at your local hardware store.
Use a de-icing cable. A de-icing cable is one that you attach along the perimeter of your gutter and plug into the side of your house. It produces heat along the gutter that will ensure that icicles don’t form and weigh the gutter down during the winter, which can permanently damage it and cause you to have to replace it.
Make sure the gutter is firmly secured to the roof. If your gutter has been filled with leaves or debris all fall, it is a good idea to check and make sure that it is firmly attached to your roof before the winter comes. If it has come loose, the added weight and stress of ice and winter water could send your gutter crashing to the ground and create an unnecessary added cost for you (especially during a time of year when costs tend to pile up anyways).
Winter-proofing your gutters is not something that takes a lot of time or effort, but it can save you big in the long run. Winter is on its way. Make sure that you have taken the necessary precautions to keep your gutter up and running throughout the winter, doing its job and protecting your house.