It may seem obvious to us and an informed homeowner about the dangers winter ice and snow can cause a home’s gutter system but the woes of winter stretch beyond the season itself. Some recent research we have been conducting made us realize we never covered all the woes of winter in one article. We have articles that address specific concerns about winter ice such as:
In each of these articles, the discussions and information is either unspecific to the resulting damage from winter or it is too specific and focusing on the one aspect of winter. The challenge winter presents goes beyond the 3 months of the season and typical 4 or 5 months of sub-freezing temperatures.
Discussed in other writings we have published is the continued reminder of how ice and snow can pry your gutters away from the roof. The expanding ice will push the gutter away from the fascia especially if the gutters are installed with gutter nails. Add to this the weight of frozen leaves and debris and your gutter’s lifespan shortens. With screwed hangers, the gutters are more resistant to this damaging effect but not impervious. When our installers are on a job to clean the gutters, they are trained to look for a gutter pulling away from the home and they perform repairs as needed.
We also covered how fall leaves and debris left in the gutters can cause compounding problems. We feel the problem has not been as expanded upon as much as it could be. Fall can be a very busy season. The leaves falling have no concern of your schedule. They don’t ask if you can put it in your Google calendar to schedule a cleanup after them. All joking aside, the gutters get ignored until late November. By late November, sub-freezing temperatures are already working a full-time schedule. It becomes difficult to get downspouts unclogged and leaves out of the gutter.
Why is maintenance so important to your gutter system? We offer several gutter materials for installation options. The strongest is our copper and galvanized steel products but they are also more expensive and heavier. Aluminum is cost effective, lightweight, strong and resistant to nature. The only other materials capable of withstanding the changing seasons are the copper and galvanized steel.
When installing copper or galvanized steel gutters onto a fascia, the challenge is to keep them there. In winter, the weight of the gutter system and ice is more effective at removing them. In fact, when we install copper or galvanized steel, they receive special hangers to help them cope with the added stress.
The advantage of strength copper and galvanized gutters add is in the downspouts. Downspouts clog first in all gutter clogs. The outlets and downspouts create a funnel effect on the debris. If the clog is sufficient to stop water, it is sufficient to freeze and expand the downspout. Eventually this expanding will crack the seams. Whenever we do copper gutter installations, we install seamless downspouts connected and sealed with screws and solder. Although we would never recommend not maintaining copper gutters, they at least have better odds of withstanding the missed maintenance.
One of the reasons we offer our 5-year warranty on installations with a gutter cleaning service requirement is because we know of the ability of the seasons to impact the integrity of a home’s gutter system. We have many options to help home owners keep on top of the maintenance. Other than our gutter cleaning program, we also offer gutter guards. You will find our last several articles discussing the effectiveness of our guards. Other suggestions we have given in the past is to install heat tape or to methodically keep the gutter system unfrozen. Although winter is a slower season for many homeowners, the idea of attending to the home in winter is far from appealing.
As always, if you are unsure if your gutters are in need of service or want to have us look at them, contact us by calling 845-223-6111 or through our website at www.brothersgutters.com.