During winter, harsh weather can be really damaging to your roof and gutters. Fortunately, there’s a number of simple steps you can take to prevent most of the damage.
Prevention is the best solution and so to avoid major damage it’s best to inspect your roofing system and follow up with some thorough maintenance in the fall season, before snow, sleet, wind, and ice set in.
Common Winter Gutter Damage To Watch Out For: Ice Buildups & Ice Dams
- Ice buildups can prevent your rain gutters from draining properly, which usually forces melted ice and snow to dribble over the edge of your gutters. While that can create a pretty collection of icicles, there’s nothing pretty about the strain your gutters are enduring. The weight of the ice buildup can cause serious damage or, potentially, even make your gutters partially or fully collapse, creating an expensive hassle.
- Ice dams are another common winter gutter problem, and they are just as dangerous. These occur when snow accumulation on your rooftop starts melting, thanks to warmth seeping through your roof from the interior of your home. This can cause melt water to trickle down and collect in your gutters, where it could refreeze under the right conditions and create a blockage known as an ice dam. These dams interfere with your roof’s drainage system, which gives melt water on your roof nowhere to go. In worst-case scenarios, this melt water will actually start to seep through your roof into your attic, creating another expensive gutter repair job.
Residential Roofing: 8 Tips For Preventing Winter Gutter Damage
Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid winter roof and gutter problems:
- A fall roof inspection is highly recommended, especially for older roofs, following by appropriate repairs that may be necessary. Address any sign of water damage in a timely fashion to prevent further damage as the wintry weather approaches. Double-check that all your roof shingles are properly fastened and firmly anchored in place. Otherwise, you could open up cracks to let moisture through.
- Make sure you perform basic gutter maintenance in the fall so that your gutters are in the best shape possible. Gutters are designed to keep moisture flowing off of your roof and away from your home. However, if they become clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris the normal drainage process will be compromised, making the structure more susceptible to water damage. The less leaf, twig and debris buildup, the more likely your gutter system can handle snow runoff rather than allowing moisture to pool and ice to build up.
- Repair any existing gutter problems following an inspection – gutter repairs are not difficult and many can be done from the ladder with simple tools and a little know how. If you run into serious problems however, don’t hesitate to call a specialists to discuss professional gutter repair or replacement.
- Ensure sufficient attic insulation and ventilation to create optimum air flow and temperature in the attic. Lack of adequate ventilation can trap cold air and cause moisture to build up, resulting in problems with mold, mildew, and damage to the roof and gutters, including ice dam damage. Poorly insulated attics provide a home with little protection against temperature extremes. Both ventilation and insulation are critical elements of attic air circulation that is vital in the health of the roof and gutters.
- Install rooftop heating cables. While this is a fairly significant investment, it will go a long way towards preserving your roof and preventing winter roof damage. It will also raise the resale value of your home.
- Purchase a roof rake, and use it to prevent excess snow from collecting atop your roof. Be careful when you’re raking your roof, though, as you don’t want the rake to get caught in the gutters.
- Install an ice barrier to facilitate proper snow/water drainage.
- Do not use rock salt – it will stain the roof and siding!
We Repair & Replace Gutters!
Gutters that are not functioning effectively can cause foundation damage and extensive leaks. The potential result: problems with insulation, internal and external paint, mold, and internal property damage.
If you need help with gutter repairs or need your gutters replaced, contact LGC Roofing, a family owned/operated contractor with over 30 years of experience in residential & commercial roofing.
We specialize in replacing aging gutters with new aluminum, vinyl or steel models, the best gutter solution available on the market today. An additional benefit of many steel gutter replacement systems is a baked-on enamel coating which allows the gutter material to lasts for 30 to 40 years without requiring much maintenance—and you can choose enamel that matches your home’s trim. And because we don’t want your gutters to ever clog again, we’ll throw in Free Leaf Guards with every new gutter installation!
We have been serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. Call 609-712-8157 in NJ or 215-932-7850 in PA to schedule your FREE ESTIMATE today!