How Your Weather Affects How You Need to Care for Your Gutters
Keeping a clean, well-maintained home is much work, both inside and out. The outward appearance of your home is often seen as a representation of yourself, so keeping it in tip top shape is important to many people. Most homeowners and renters know the struggle of caring for their lawn, keeping a fresh coat of paint on the house, and cleaning out the gutters. Sometimes though, caring for your home is made even harder by outside circumstances, such as the weather.
The weather can have a drastic impact on many different home features including the gutters. Rain gutters have a crucial responsibility; they safeguard a house’s foundation from water damage by diverting that water away from the foundation. Additionally, rain gutters can aid in minimizing erosion and in guarding against water leaks in basements or crawlspaces.
Poorly maintained rain gutters can have a disastrous impact on one’s home. This is why it is important for people to be aware of proper rain gutter maintenance for different weather patterns.
In cold or even freezing temperatures, the primary concern when it comes to rain gutter care is ensuring that ice does not build up in the gutters. It is advisable to clean out your rain gutters prior to the onset of a cold front or icy weather; this helps to stave off the formation of ice.
Another concern in freezing weather is ice dams. Ice dams are blocks of ice that develop at the edge of a roof. They are especially troublesome for your gutters because they cause water to accumulate in them which can ultimately result in water leaks inside your home.
Removing ice dams can be done using various different tools ranging from ice picks to axes and mallets. It is advisable to use a blunt tool to break up the ice as it decreases the likelihood of causing damage to your roof. You can also melt through the ice dam using calcium chloride. Avoid using rock salt as that can cause damage to metal and painted surfaces. Once the ice dam is removed, you can then thoroughly clean out the rain gutters and downspout.
One way to help combat the formation of ice dams is to remove snow from your roof regularly. A roof rake, shovel or another similar tool is incredibly useful for this task. Make a habit of clearing snow from your roof after every snowfall. It is also recommended to inspect gutters for structural damage and make sure water from downspouts are being diverted a minimum of ten feet from the foundation of your home. It is especially important to check for structural damage as water caught in rain gutters expands when it freezes, turning tiny fissures into major cracks.
Rain gutter care in hot weather can be somewhat easier than in colder weather as you do not have to be concerned about the formation of ice dams. Generally speaking, ice and snow tend to be more damaging to rain gutters, but hot weather also presents its own set of gutter care problems.
In hot weather, one of the primary concerns is preventing or cleaning out clogged gutters and downspouts. When the weather is hot, the biggest risks to rain gutters are falling leaves, twigs, and even tree branches. The build-up of such debris can be very problematic if left unattended, in the presence of rainy weather it is best to clean out your gutters once they have dried out.
In sweltering weather, there is also the possibility that your rain gutters can warp from the heat. Homes with long sections of rain gutters are especially prone to this. The best way to prevent this is to maintain a regular rain gutter cleaning schedule to prevent clogs. Rain gutter clogs can make them more susceptible to warping in scorching weather.
The repercussions of improper rain gutter maintenance goes far beyond damage to just the outside of your home. Rain gutter problems can translate into damage to the foundation of your house as well as water leaks and damage to the inside of your home, damage that can cost upwards of thousands of dollars to repair. However, there is no rule that says you have to be the one to take care of it. Hiring a gutter cleaning and maintenance expert such as Aerotech will go a long way towards keeping your gutters clean and functional!