Although they may be small, gutters and downspouts are an essential part of any roof. And this is especially true during winter when snow and ice abound. If your gutters aren’t ready for the coming winter season, you could find yourself having to pay for expensive repairs to your roof, fascia, and soffit due to water damage.
Ensure that your gutters are well prepared for winter by checking for the following problems.
1. Clogged Gutters
Minnesota sees quite a lot of snowfall each winter. Your gutters need to be free of debris if they are to channel the melting snow and ice away from your fascia, soffit, and siding. Gutter debris like leaves freezes in the winter. This can put a strain on your gutters, especially when the debris freezes. The weight of all that debris, ice, and snow could cause your gutters to sag or even fail.
Check your gutters for debris before the worst of the winter snow. If you can’t get rid of the debris yourself, hire a roofing service to remove it for you.
2. Blocked Downspouts
When you check your gutters for blockages, make sure you include your downspouts too. And if you flush away any blockages using a hose, for instance, make sure the debris doesn’t lodge inside your downspouts. If your downspouts contain debris when the colder winter weather arrives, the inside could freeze. This could then cause them to split open.
Make sure you flush all debris from your downspouts before the ice and snow arrive.
3. Sagging Gutters
Walk around your home and look for sections of your gutters that sag. When gutters sag, they no longer channel away water affectively. Instead, water collects in the gutter. This can lead to two main issues. If the water doesn’t drain effectively during heavy rainfall, that water could then spill over onto your home’s siding. And if the water freezes in winter, your gutter could crack open.
Faulty supports, such as the spikes or brackets that hold a gutter in place, are usually to blame for sagging. Replacing and repairing spikes and brackets in cold weather can be dangerous, which is why this is a job best left to a professional roofing service.
4. Leaky Gutters
Leaky gutters can lead to disastrous problems during winter. If your gutters are sectional gutters with seams dividing each section, you need to ensure that these seams aren’t leaking. During winter, sectional gutters are prone to ice damage, especially if they already have existing leaks.
When gutters freeze in winter, existing leaks worsen. And when the snow and ice begins to thaw, the resulting water could then leak over your fascia, soffit, and siding, leading to costly moisture damage.
If your gutters are leaking, now is a good time to replace them with seamless aluminum or steel gutters, which both hold up well in freezing conditions.
5. Improperly Pitched Gutters
This issue is similar to sagging because if your gutters aren’t pitched toward the downspouts, water will gather inside the gutters. When winter arrives, that water will freeze and potentially damage them, so check your gutters to see if the pitch is correct.
If you find that a section of your gutters is improperly pitched, you’ll probably need the help of a professional roofing service to correct them. You could try to correct an improperly pitched gutter yourself, but you might damage the gutter or even injure yourself in the process, especially if conditions are wet and icy.
Winter is almost here. This is a good time to repair or replace your gutters. If your gutters and downspouts need repair or replacement, contact D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc., today for a free estimate. With almost 30 years’ experience in the roofing industry, we’re one of the most trusted roofing services in Minneapolis.