Protecting Your Gutters for the Winter

If you step outside and listen carefully, you will notice a faint but consistent chorus of coughing noises. Winter is right around the corner, and as we are gearing up for this polarizing holiday, your house may also need to be doing some winter shopping. A lot of people think about winterizing their homes’ heating and plumbing, but how often do you hear people talking about their gutters?

snowy winter scene
If you’re anywhere near us, this will be your backyard in a month. Image credit to Wikimedia Commons

 

Unwinterized gutters are a big problem


The truth is that when your gutters and roof aren’t properly winterized, housing problems can quickly arise. We’re not talking about cheap problems either. We’re talking the kind of problems that threaten the very underlying structures of your house. Ice dams are one of these problems.

Ice dams occur when the snow on your roof begins to melt on the bottom. Water runs down the slope of the roof and then freezes as it hits the cold air. If you have ever had icicles hanging off your house, you are experiencing this phenomenon. An ice dam, however, keeps melted snow from running off your roof into your gutter.

Which is bad. Why? Because that water still has to go somewhere. Water’s expansive nature, gravity and the slope of your roof are all pulling that water down away from the top where it melted. If it can’t flow into your gutters, it’s going to find somewhere else to go. That somewhere else could be: leaking through damaged shingles, or worse yet entering your home’s interior along walls where the dam begins.

This can mean catastrophic damage to walls, your roofing and your foundation. Additionally, if enough heavy ice builds up into your gutters, it can actually rip the gutters off the eaves of your roof. Take it from us, that’s not a cheap repair.

damage from ice damming
Image credit to Herzi Pinki

 

Gutter Guards

So in order to control the amount of ice building up, we need to think about a solution that’s going to keep gutters clear to allow melted water to flow through and prevent ice from forming along the eaves of the house. One of the most popular ways people in the frozen North do this is by using a heated gutter guard.

At Security-Luebke Roofing, we’re partial to GutterTopper. So much so that we’ve installed over 1 million feet of it in Wisconsin.

GutterTopper
Gutter Topper has the added benefit of keeping debri out of your gutters in the fall as well.

 

A gutter guard like Gutter Topper not only keeps your gutters free from debris which ice can cling to, but can even be heated (with the Hot Topper) once temperatures go beneath a certain threshold. Even if snow is melting and draining into the gutter, it won’t be forming ice and damming at the eaves or weighing down your gutters.

What’s really nice about a heated gutter guard, is that at no point during the winter do you have to worry about getting up on a ladder with a roof rake and wiping snow off or trying to gently hammer the ice in your gutters to break it up (note: Security-Luebke Roofing does not endorse this method!). A heated gutter guard will keep your gutters clear and your roof free from potentially catastrophic ice damming.

Meaning you get to stay on solid ground inside, enjoying the freezing temperatures as an observer rather than a participant. Even though most of us rue the arrival of winter, it’s not so bad when you don’t have to worry about your gutters.

Contact us today for a free estimate on Gutter Topper.

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