Most of the time when we hear the word winter, we think of frigid temperature levels, wintry mix and snow. And that holds true for our places in the northern zones. Nevertheless, for our areas in NC, winter season isn’t so cold or severe. Given that gutter cleaning can just be done when temperature levels are above freezing, we typically recommend that cleanings occur throughout the spring and fall. In areas where freezing does not happen, cleaning gutters in winter is not usually an issue. In addition to temperature, changes in nature throughout those seasons have a greater effect on the collection of debris in the gutter, causing a higher need for cleanings.
If you missed cleaning gutters in the fall, you may have problems going into winter. These concerns are not constantly evident in the winter season because your gutter is frozen, but throughout the very first thaw they’ll reveal themselves. The excess debris in your gutters that was not cleaned prior to winter will result in a sort of debris popsicle within your gutter system.
CLEANING GUTTERS & PRODUCTS
During the duration of winter thaw, you may have the ability to use gutter cleaning tools to eliminate clogs from the gutters and downspout areas. However, it is advised that you let the pros take care of those issues. Remember that winter season services will vary in the winter months in different areas.
COMMON GUTTER CONCERNS DURING WINTER SEASON
- Snow sitting on top of your roof
- Weight of ice in/on your gutters
- Ice damming
- Damages due to added weight from snow and ice
- Winter season storm damage
Ice damming is not a scenario a property owner wants to handle. In spite of popular belief, gutters do not cause ice damming. Ice damming begins with your insulation. It happens when the warm air is escaping from the attic causing the snow on the roofing to melt. When the melted water reaches the surface of your cold gutter, it will refreeze on and over your gutters.
Your first step to avoiding ice damming involves correct insulation. However, you can also take the proactive method to prevent ice damming by using a roof rake to clear a few feet above the edge of the roof. It can help to get rid of the buildup of ice dams. Adding heat cable to your gutter system is likewise another preventative step with little to no upkeep. It will keep your gutters at an above freezing temperature and will gradually melt snow and ice accumulation on your system to handle ice damming.
As mentioned above, winter services differ for hemispheres. Here is a list of what can and can not be done in the colder temperatures to much better clarify (weather condition permitting of course):
WHAT CAN BE DONE IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES?
- Gutter and downspout installations.
- Gutter & guard setups (should set up both for it to be workable in winter season).
- Heated gutter & guard setups (need to install both for it to be achievable in winter season).
- Snow guards for metal roofs.
- Fascia & fascia wrap (if getting full gutter install).
WHAT CAN NOT BE DONE IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES?
- Cleaning gutters (due to freezing, it’s too cold to clean gutters).
- Gutter guards on existing gutters (due to freezing, it’s too cold to clean gutters, which we do before setting up guards).
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN MY GUTTERS?
At least twice a year— typically as soon as in spring and once in fall when leaves have all fallen.
HOW DO GUTTER GUARDS WORK?
- Guards function as a purification system to keep debris out of your gutters (i.e. leaves, shingle grit, small animals, and insects).
- They avoid the possibility of interior obstructions from happening in your gutters and downspouts.
- They add strength to the whole system during winter.
- Guards minimize the threat of the gutter system breaking or detaching due to the weight of the snow or branches laying on them.
DO I NEED TO CLEAN OUT MY GUTTERS IF THEY HAVE GUARDS?
- Quality gutter guards work to remove the requirement for interior gutter cleanings.
- No guards are “maintenance-free” and may need occasional brushing off on top of the guard system.
We are all open throughout the winter season, call Brilliant Exterior Services to discuss your circumstances and get a free estimate.