One of the questions we often get asked is, “should we clean our gutter system in winter?”
While winter may be associated with frigid temperatures, with a mix of snow and rain, especially in the northern part of the country, the southern zone may not experience these temperatures. In fact, temperatures in the south rarely ever get to freezing, with below-freezing being extremely rare.
Gutter cleaning is best done when the temperature isn’t freezing, in fact, a few degrees above freezing at the very least. That’s why we suggest that people clean their gutters during spring and summer. However, if it does not freeze over where you live, why not clean your gutter in winter? Sure, your hands may become cold, but there is no other drawback.
However, some seasons like fall may have a more drastic effect on the collection of debris in your gutter, which means it needs to be cleaned more frequently. If for some reason, you missed cleaning your gutter in the fall, you will have a problem in winter. The issues aren’t always evident during the winter because the gutter is frozen over, but they will show when it starts thawing. When left uncleaned before winter, the debris in the gutter will end up freezing with the water in the line leading to potential damage.
Gutter Cleaning in Winter with the Right Product
An unusual winter thaw, gutter cleaning tools can be used to remove debris or blockage from the downspout. However, you may also want to consider hiring professional gutter cleaners to take care of it.
Common Concerns in Winter
Generally speaking, the winter can bring a host of gutter issues. It can be a particular issue if you live in a place where it freezes over. Some of the most common issues include:
- Snow residing on the top of your roof
- Ice damming
- Ice collecting on the gutter exerts weight
- Damage caused by the weight of the ice
- Storm damage in winter
Ice damming can cripple your gutter installation in winter. Despite popular belief, gutters aren’t the leading cause of ice damming. The issue begins with the insulation. It usually occurs when warm air escapes the attic, causing some of the snow piled on your roof to melt. The melted water will then reach the cold gutter and freeze again. But this time, it is freezing over the gutter. So, you can see that this situation can pose many issues.
Proper insulation is one of the first steps to avoid ice damming. However, it is possible to take a proactive approach to prevent it. All you need is a roof rake to wipe off a few feet from the top of the roof, remove all the ice from the edges and you’re pretty much done.
Furthermore, adding heat cabling to the gutter system is another excellent way to prevent ice damming by maintaining above freezing temperatures around your gutter. However, this is a slightly more expensive fix since you need to power the cable, which means paying for electricity.
Winter Roof Gutter Cleaning tools
If you decide to take a proactive approach to keep your gutter system clean during the winter, there are a few tools you will want to keep around the house. The fact is that cleaning and preparing the gutters for winters, even for professionals, isn’t easy. However, we’ve managed to pick up a few tricks that fortunately have made our lives easier and safer over the years.
Many people who try to clean their gutters end up breaking them. It would help if you used the right tools for the job. Fortunately, the tools aren’t expensive or hard to find. Specialized winter cleaning tools coupled with the proper technique will help to keep your gutter clean and prevent it from breaking.
Getting snow off your roof is one of the most important jobs we all need to do during winter. If not, this snow will slide down the gutters and freeze. Unfortunately, not many people understand this, and that’s why they don’t bother. Furthermore, many roofs are also hard to reach. That’s where using a roof rake comes in. Roof rakes can easily be extended, using a variety of extensions to get the job done. Roof rakes are also available in many home improvement stores. That said, buy these before the winter, because they can become harder to find in winter.
Outdoor vacuums are an excellent way to get rid of snow. Once the snow starts falling, you may not be able to use these, but you can before it starts. You can use it quickly to clean out all the gutters, ensuring that they are debris-free when it freezes.
One of the reasons why many people don’t want to get on top of their roofs is because they can’t trust the ladders they are on. However, many excellent quality ladders are perfect for helping you get closer to the roof. The ladder-like stepping stool can be dangerous, but one which can be self-established is an excellent option. The ladder will allow you to work without rocking or moving with the aforementioned tools.
Gutter cleaning in winter is essential, even if your gutter has guards. Sure, quality guards help eliminate the need for interior gutter cleaning. However, no product in the world’s 100% maintenance-free. That’s why even your gutter guards will need to be brushed off.
While some gutters may be in a state of deep freeze during the winter, many in other parts of the country aren’t. That’s why if winter isn’t freezing over where you live, but you suspect rain or maybe a storm, make sure to clean your gutters to guarantee the free flow of water through them. If you don’t have the time or the ability, please contact us today!