As the weather cools and school (albeit abnormally, in some cases) is back in session, one thing is for certain: Fall is in the air! Pumpkin-spice flavored drinks and milder days abound. While it can be tempting to sit back and take in the temperate temperatures, homeowners all across the nation—and in Minnesota especially—have important work to do: the work of winterization.
This word refers to the process of weather-proofing your house so that it can stand up to winter’s wrath. One of the most important tasks is making sure your gutter system is prepared for the colder months – and if not, repairing or replacing it. In fact, we recommend prioritizing this task above almost any other winterization activity.
Why You Should Winterize Your Gutters
Just why is winterizing your gutters so important?
- It prevents ice dams. Though the cause of ice dams—melted snow pooling behind ridges of ice on your roof—is multifaceted and complex, gutters that aren’t prepared to handle snow can make it more likely that you’ll deal with this home-wrecking menace.
Any Minnesotan can identify the hazards that come with ice dams: falling icicles for one, interior moisture damage for another. Since ridding your house of them often requires climbing on the roof yourself (dangerous) or hiring a professional to do it for you (pricey) prevention by way of winterization is the best medicine in this case.
- It saves you money. If your existing gutter system is working inefficiently or otherwise becoming a hazard to your home, a shiny new gutter system can save you countless dollars in the long run. However, you no doubt want to preserve the one you already have. Times are tough right now, after all. They’re bound to get even tougher if your gutter system isn’t ready to take on winter headfirst, as you’ll most likely need to invest in new gutter installation once the weather warms.
Your need will also be urgent; a home without gutters is as good as sodden and mold-infested. Popping those puppies onto your soffit and fascia will no doubt cost you a pretty penny come spring, as you’ll need the job done quickly to avoid moisture damage from the rains. Winterizing your gutters saves you from a hefty bill later on. Yes, it might be a chore, but the hundreds of dollars saved will be worth it.
- It’s part of winterizing your roof. How can winterizing a completely separate part of your home’s exterior help your home’s roof? Simple: remember those ice dams we talked about earlier? They tear apart your roof as much as they can your gutters. Take it from a team of roofing contractors: Ice dams can do everything from ripping off your shingles to warping the wood below them. Your roof needs help to get through the winter too, so why not start that winterization task by completing it for your gutters?
How to Winterize Your Gutters
As you can see, gutter winterization is important from both physical and economic standpoints, so you’re wise to learn how to do it. Here are some tips on how to begin the process.
- Clean out your gutters. Either that, or hire a professional to do it! Gutter cleaning might be a gross task, but it’s a necessary one, as it helps to prevent ice dams and thus keeps your roof safe from harm. Overflowing gutters can also damage your fascia, leading to the degradation of your gutter system as a whole. Luckily, as disgusting as this job can be, it’s relatively straightforward—just scoop the debris out of the metal tubes and flush the system with a garden hose when you’re done.
- Consider gutter guards. While this isn’t a necessary step, per se, it can be quite the time-saving one, especially if you get them in before mid-autumn. Gutter guards, much as their name suggests, help to keep foreign bodies out of your gutter system by operating as a physical barrier between the two. Installing gutter guards now ensures that your pre-winter cleaning job can hold out through a leaf-filled autumn, thus helping to prevent ice dams (and we’ve already talked about how damaging those can be). Certain types of gutter guards can also actively work to stop these pests!
- Update to seamless gutters if you’ve been considering it. Or even if you haven’t! Seamless gutters, unlike their sectional cousins, have fewer ridges to catch debris, leading to fewer clogs and debris accumulation, the latter of which can contribute to ice dam formation. As a bonus, their polished appearance is bound to make you the envy of the neighborhood!
When you choose our licensed contractors for your seamless gutter installation project, we can install additional leaf protection features to further enhance your home’s protection!