The Importance of Maintaining your Guttering Throughout the Winter

Posted by james.edgell

Jan31

Winter can be the best and worst of times for homeowners. Certainly, there are few things more satisfying than being nice and cosy in your own home as the temperatures plummet and the wind blows a gale outside. However, the downside of being a homeowner in the winter is that the inclement weather often requires you to carry out repairs to the exterior of your home.

Indeed, things like gutters, downpipes and drains are far more likely to give you problems in the colder months as sub-zero temperatures, along with freezing wind, snow and ice lay siege to them for weeks and months on end.

Fortunately, there are measures you can take to mitigate the effects of some of the more common seasonal threats.

Debris and Blockages
High winds send leaves, twigs and other forms of debris everywhere in the winter months. Many of these items will eventually collect in your gutter system (more so if your home is located near to trees). If you do not remove it, this debris will form a blockage and stop rainwater from flowing down a downpipe into the drain. Given time, this trapped rainwater will either overflow or amass into a weight that will force a gutter to crack and leak. Naturally, having water seeping into your property will have negative consequences to the foundations and general condition of the house.

Quite simply, you must ensure that rain water is always able to flow into drains. Therefore, you should get into the habit of checking your gutter system on a regular basis and clearing out any debris before it has the chance to cause any problems.

If you have a conservatory attached to your house then you will also need to check any drainage solutions which are attached to it. Rainwater deposits can build up in-between a house and conservatory and cause problems similar to those noted above, so you must make sure you check your conservatory’s rooftop drainage measures whenever you give your property’s main gutter system a periodical assessment.

Ice and Snow
Not only can a build-up of ice prevent a rainwater gutter from draining properly, it can also put it under considerable strain. Indeed, the extra weight of an ice build-up can cause serious damage and even make a gutter partially or fully collapse.

Ice dams are another common winter gutter problem which are every bit as dangerous. These occur when the heating in your home makes the snow on your rooftop melt, thereby causing melt water to trickle down and collect in your gutter system where it can refreeze and create a blockage (an ‘ice dam’). These dams hamper your drainage system’s ability to function effectively as they stop melt water from having anywhere to go.

Keeping a good eye on your roof and clearing out any ice deposits and dams which occur is really the only way to deal with this problem.

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