Your gutters play a key role in protecting your roof, your landscape, and the interior of your home from potential water damage by ensuring that all water has a clear path to drain properly into your yard. However, winter's freezing temperatures and intense weather conditions can represent a significant challenge to your gutters' ability to properly drain water, which can lead to a number of complications if water is allowed to simply overflow from your gutters. Thankfully, there are a few simple maintenance tasks that you can complete to prevent drainage problems and the associated roofing damage that they can cause.
Clean Them Out
Obviously, the most important thing that you should do to prepare your gutters for the winter season is to clean them out entirely. Leaves and other types of debris, which can get stuck in your gutters, represent an added threat to your roof in the winter. The water that this debris will absorb and prevent from draining can freeze, which can cause it to expand and place additional stress on your gutters. This can result in physical damage, as sections of your gutters or fasteners that hold them in place are pressed upon. The best thing to do to prevent this from happening is to clean out your gutters entirely before the first snow hits.
Trimming Back Plant Growth
In a related point to the above, you should also make sure to trim back any trees that overhang your roof. Doing this in the fall is important, because it will prevent branches and leaves from falling and collecting on your roof and in your gutters. Further, trimming back overhanging branches will also reduce the risk that they will crack and fall on your home during the winter because of the added weight of snow and ice which can accumulate — which can cause serious damage to your roof and gutters, punching holes right through and ripping materials off.
Install Heating Cables
One of the best ways to ensure that your gutters do not become clogged with ice, which can happen if you live in a climate where temperatures can be quite variable throughout the winter and thaws can occur, is to run a heating cable through your gutter system. Roofing heating cables are extremely simple to set up and can be found at most hardware stores; snaking one through your downspout and the length of your gutters ensures that water stays moving throughout the winter.
To learn more about gutter care, talk to a company like Maynor Roofing & Siding Co.