Winter can wreak havoc with your gutters. Yet you rarely think to protect your gutters when the weather turns cold and snowy. Often, we’re diligent about other winter weather-related tasks around the house. But it’s not unusual for homeowners not to give a second thought to the condition of their gutter system.

But that’s a mistake. It is essential to protect your gutters. The rest of your house can suffer severe damage when you don’t care for your gutter system. That’s why you should consider doing the following things.

Clear debris to protect your gutters

Gutters should be clear all year round. However, keeping them free from clogs during the winter weather is especially important. When water backs up in your gutters due to clogs caused by leaves, twigs, trash, or even small animals, it can freeze if left to remain stagnant. The ice will cause the gutters to expand, resulting in cracks. Ice is one of the major causes of cracks and leaks in a gutter system.

So, consider hiring a professional to clean your gutters before the cold, snowy season hits, maybe in November, after the leaves have fallen from the trees. This way, you’re prepared for the weather. And if it seems you’re still being bothered by debris in mid-winter, have them cleared again.

Fix any holes or cracks

If you have holes or cracks in your gutters, even tiny ones, water won’t make it to the downspouts. Instead, it could leak from the gutters. Or it could freeze on the outside of the gutters, causing damage to the structure. In addition, the leaks could cause water damage to your home, including its foundation. You might also have to deal with issues like mold and rot.

Your gutters should be inspected for leaks before the winter season. This is best done by a professional who knows where to look for holes and cracks, how to detect them, and how to fix them promptly so that they’re not a problem once the weather turns. You can do this at the same time you’re having them cleaned.

An issue with your gutters is possible if you’ve seen structural damage, like problems with your siding or foundation. Point those out to your gutter specialist so they can check those areas while inspecting your system.

Trim nearby trees to protect your gutters

Trimming the trees near your home can reduce damage to your gutters and your home. It isn’t unusual for snow and ice to weigh down tree branches. They can snap and fall onto your gutter or, worse yet, damage your roof, siding, or other parts of your house. Small twigs that break off can also make their way to your gutters, causing clogs.

So, inspect your trees. Cut them off if you see issues with branches too close to your home. Simply trimming the trees around your home can prevent accidents and keep your gutters free of debris.

Consider gutter guards

Consider gutter guards if you’re looking for year-round protection for your gutters. High-quality gutter guards can prevent debris from gathering in your system. Installing them at the proper angle can also help keep melting snow and ice from damming the roofline. Ice damming can cause damage to your gutters and other parts of your house. (It’s also a good idea to remove snow from your roof when possible, especially in a frigid climate.)

Gutter guards also keep everything else out, from leaves to small animals. Some guards even include heating elements, perfect for areas where frigid temperatures, ice, and snow can cause a problem.

Hire a professional to protect your gutters

You can take basic steps on your own to protect your gutters from winter weather. But enlisting the help of a gutter professional means no climbing or other dangerous tasks are necessary.

At Advantage Gutters, we can schedule regular maintenance of your gutter system. We visit you twice a year (or more) to clean and inspect your gutters. We’ll handle any problems that could cause an issue during the cold weather. Also, we will suggest any further maintenance or repairs that could help your gutters last longer.

To schedule an appointment before it gets too cold and snowy, call us at 604-514-9886.