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Hallett News & Tips

Gutters for Winter

October 20th, 2011
When September kicked in, autumn is now all around. Leaves fall like rain – seeds and other debris from trees and nearby plants are starting to shed. Weather now feels cooler and you miss summer so much already. The fun of stepping on dried leaves and hearing the “crunch” sound brings a smile to someone’s face every once in a while. Everyone is so excited about winter, except maybe your house… it will face a beating for the coming months. 

As much as you don’t want to do the tiresome chore of cleaning up your gutters – its something that must be done. When summer kicked in, you might have neglected to check if there were any potential clogs or too much clutter building up in your gutters. It will worsen if you haven’t inspected them and corrected them. Autumn is the time when it all comes down – the leaves, seeds or any debris from trees will be non-stop. Gutters are an essential part of the roofing system in terms of collecting water and diverting it safely away from the house. The amount of water it collects is “normally” enough to fill a swimming pool annually – if you can just collect it on a huge container, you can even have an irrigation system for your garden. That’s how much water your gutters can collect.

Clogged gutters can cause flooding of the basement and much worse – it can weaken your house foundation. Water that’s not diverted properly could make a puddle on the surroundings of your house, and it’s not a good sight especially if you have a garden. The water that overflows can seep through the fascia, soffit and the house walls. Wood rots when exposed to moisture and can weaken. Moisture can also cause peeling of paint and mildew growth. The basement, when flooded, permits water to seep through the cracks of the house. This will gradually weaken or “soak” the house. Clogged gutters can also be a breeding ground for critters or insects like mosquitoes. This can be unsafe and cause disease or other health hazards.

The solution to these potential issues is simple – clean your gutters on a regular basis. Especially clean them during summer and autumn. Ultimately, have gutter guards installed to get the best results. There’s no actual time-frame specified for gutter cleaning as it varies with every house. Cleaning frequency depend on your surroundings – the number or type of trees and how close they are to the house itself. For some homes, they may need to be cleaned as often as once a month or as rarely as twice a year. It’s recommended to have a quick check on your gutters right after heavy rains. Check if there are potential clogs or any clutter build up. Regular inspections make major cleaning easier, and lessen the risk of gutter problems. Having gutter guards can surely make things a lot easier. When gutter guards are on your home, debris is deflected and only the water passes through the gutters. Gutter Guards equal: Easier cleaning on your part, lesser worries and saved expenses.

Winter is fast approaching – it’ll be there before you know it. When you don’t have gutter guards, you should make major cleanups now. Your gutters will have greater risk of having ice dams if there are debris settling in them, and when it gets frozen, the heavy weight will make your gutters sag. When cleaning them, bring out the important tools – ladder, hand shovel, garden hose, a bucket or garbage bag. It’s recommended to use a step ladder, otherwise get a stabilizer to firmly place your extension ladder and prevent it from being unstable. Check for any potential leaks, and use hand gloves too. If you’re thinking on getting gutter guards, now is the perfect time to do so – just to keep your gutters safe from ice dams. If you feel unsure about doing it yourself, you can hire a professional to do the cleaning and check if something needs to be fixed.

How do you prepare your gutter system for the winter? You can share your tips and join the discussion at Hallett Gutter Cover’s Facebook page and at their website. See other articles there, subscribe and see what else can we help you with!

Posted in: Articles, Gutter Cover, gutter guards, Gutter System, Gutters, ice dam