The winter season carries a number of environmental factors that can cause damage to the exterior of your home, and your roof's gutter system is no exception. Freezing temperatures, ice buildup, and the heavy weight of snow can place a great deal of stress on your gutters and downspouts, which can, in turn, cause structural damage that prevents the proper drainage of water in the spring. Improper drainage can quickly cause water damage to the interior of your home and excessive erosion in your landscape, so you need to make sure that you take care of your gutters to prevent such structural damage from occurring.
The first and most important thing that you can do for your gutters to ensure that they do not become unduly damaged during the winter season is to make sure that they are free of all debris and potential blockages in the fall, so that melting snow is able to get off of your roof properly during thawing periods. You may also want to cut back any trees or plants which hang over your roof since they can shed debris over the course of the winter that can cause additional blockages and require further maintenance: cutting them back thus allows you to allow your gutters to operate autonomously throughout the winter.
You should also have a professional roofer come in to inspect the insulation within your attic to determine if you need to add any additional insulation to keep the interior of your home warm, while your roof and attic are cool. This will prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters and along the ridges of your roof, which can occur when hot air in the attic melts snow that then runs down the roof and refreezes. Ice dams can cause damage to your gutters and the supports that hold it to the roof, while also causing water to overflow the sides of your gutters during thawing periods.
If you face severe amounts of snowfall and intense winter conditions based on your geographic location, you may want to consider installing heating cables along the edges of your roof and within your gutters. These cables will melt surrounding ice and snow throughout the winter, making sure that water has the chance to flow off of your roof and preventing excessive ice and snow buildup in your gutters that can cause structural stress and damage.
For more information, contact local roofing companies today!