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Tips for Preparing Your Gutters for winter

December 16, 2021

With winter around the corner, there’s much preparation to do. Some things are hard to forget, such as optimizing the heating, but there are more equally important aspects to consider.

Most of us forget to prepare the house for the excessive moisture and snow externally. One key area you should focus on is the gutters. Leaking or clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your house by allowing water to reach your home and foundation.

It’s therefore essential to prepare your gutters so that they can serve their purpose effectively. Read on to learn how to prepare your gutters and prevent expensive roof and house repairs.

​1.     Clear Any Leaves and Debris from Your Gutters

​The first step is cleaning your gutters. There’s often an accumulation of leaves and debris during the fall. Regularly cleaning and unclogging your drains simplifies this task right before winter.

The snow is already heavy, so any debris adds to the weight and prevents the snow from sliding off. This can lead to cracking or breaking off completely. Exposing your house to such weather may cause significant damage and unexpected expenses.

With the gutters cleaned up, it’s easier to tell what you need to do next.

2.     Inspect the Gutters for Damages

​The next step is checking which areas need repair or replacement. Ensure you confirm whether all the joints are solid and have no weak points.

If the joints are functional, next comes reinforcing the gutters. You can use gutter hangers to make them more robust and stable.

There are two kinds of gutter hangers, one that you fix under the shingles and one that you nail to the rafters. They are both effective, so your choice mainly depends on your preference.

Before screwing in the hangers, you must check whether it’s possible to lift the shingles without causing any damages. The more hangers you have, the stronger the support. Confirm that the screws are tight and the gutters are well attached to the house.

3.     Check the End Caps and Downspouts for Any Leakages

​Over time, end caps start leaking, but it’s possible to reattach them using a sealer. Start by scrubbing the ends caps using steel wool or a brush, then rinse off using water. The surface should be smooth, rust-free, and dry before applying the sealer.

The downspouts direct water away from the house. If they malfunction, water may pool near the foundation, causing structural issues.

Inspect the downspouts to see whether they are well-connected to the gutter and the house without spaces.

4.    Add a Gutter Cover/Guard

​The primary purpose of a gutter cover is to reduce the accumulation of leaves and debris. Depending on your budget, you can choose covers made using aluminum or plastic.

5.     Trim the Nearby Trees

​Most leaves clogging your drain are likely coming from trees near your house. Trim all the trees and branches near and above the roof. If possible, the best time to trim the trees is towards the end of summer, before they start shedding leaves.

​Conclusion

​Preparing your gutters for winter can be tasking and even dangerous sometimes. Climbing up a ladder yourself is not advisable, as it poses a safety risk. It’s best to hire a Gutter Cleaning Company to handle all the work.

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