Caring for Your Gutters in the Fall and Winter

Once the leaves fall from the trees and you rake them out to the curb, you might think that’s all you needed to do. However, cleaning gutters in winter is incredibly important as not all leaves make it all the way to the ground. Some leaves will inevitably end up in your gutters, and if you neglect them before the big freeze, that could cause some serious problems.

The obvious issue is with the leaves accumulating in the gutter and creating a clog, preventing the proper flow of water down and away from your house. If rainwater or melting snow can’t make their way down and out from the gutters, it is likely that it will find a way into your home instead. Water damage can affect windows, siding, and even the foundation.

The leaves will cause not all problems with your gutters. In the winter, the snow from your roof will melt, flow into the gutters, and then refreeze. This repetitive process will not only damage your gutters, but can cause problems with your roofing. Clear gutters will help, but you could also consider installing a heating system to prevent ice dams from occurring in the gutters.

Water can flow easily because of its liquid state. Snow does not have that benefit. Snow is also quite heavy when it accumulates, and if too much snow piles up in the gutters, the extra weight will affect the integrity of those gutters. They design your gutters to help that flow of water, not to hold up the weight of the snow.

That process of constant freezing, melting, and refreezing also has the potential to create icicles that will hang from the gutters. They may look nice in the winter sun, but can be dangerous. Again, the extra weight bearing down on the gutters could cause a tear, and it could hurt you or a family member from an icicle that breaks and falls.

Gutters can last a couple decades when they are well taken care of. We recommend cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year, and right now before the winter weather really kicks in is a great time to check in on your gutters. For more information on keeping your gutters in great shape, and how to prepare for the winter weather ahead, call the professionals at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing today at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.