Clogged root gutters are always a hassle, but they can be particularly problematic during cold weather. Between autumn's unusually freezing temperatures and winter arriving, clogged gutters may spell disaster for your gutters and your roof. Learn how the cold weather may cause damage to your home if your gutters aren't clean, and what you can do about it.
Cold Weather And Roof Gutters
Clogged gutters can cause problems for your roof and your home all year long, including water damage to your home's foundation, flooded gardens and yards. The debris in the gutter can even become a fire hazard as it dries out. However, once the temperatures drop to freezing levels, clogged gutters can pose even more hazards.
Whether your gutter is made out of metal, plastic or another material, extreme exposure to freezing temperatures can weaken the material over time. Instead of rain and melted snow water flowing quickly through the gutter, clogs hold liquid in place, allowing it to freeze inside the gutter. Additionally, if your gutter is completely full of water and it freezes, ice expands and takes up more space than water, so your gutter could crack or break completely because it can't expand to accommodate the ice.
Backed-up gutters can also cause serious problems for your roof. When gutters can't drain, rain and melting snow back up onto your roof: ice and water may be forced under the shingles of your roof, and damage your roof directly since the shingles aren't protecting it. Shingles may also become brittle due to exposure to extremely cold temperatures and liquid freezing on them. This may cause them to crack or break off of your roof, leaving it exposed to cold temperatures and liquids. It's more difficult to get a roofer to your home during winter due to demand: many people will be realizing their roofs are damaged after they're exposed to rain and snow.
Don't Attempt Repairs During Winter
It's fairly easy to clean your gutters, but it's not a good idea to try doing it in the middle of a cold snap. You can easily injure yourself going up on a ladder while the ground and roof are slippery, and damage may have already been done to your gutters. Instead, call a professional: they'll be able to prevent damage to your roof and home, and you won't put yourself at risk.
Preventing Future Blockages
Once your gutters are clear, ask for the gutter cleaning professional to install a gutter guard to prevent large debris from getting in. Once the weather is warm and dry, make sure to check your gutters regularly to see if the debris guard is still in place and to clear any smaller debris that may have gotten past it.
Taking simple steps to clean your gutters can prevent serious damage to your home and roof, which can cost a massive amount of money to repair. Contact a gutter cleaning service to get them cleared as soon as possible so you can rest easy knowing the remaining winter months won't be damaging your home.