Most homes have gutters, and most homeowners generally trust that their gutters will do the job they were designed to do. They may clean their gutters out a few times a year, scraping out the pine straw and leaves that build up to allow the water to flow freely, but that is usually the extent of their maintenance. During the cold Colorado winters, it is especially important to make sure the gutters are cleaned out. This isn’t just because so many leaves fall during autumn and early winter, but also because of the freezing temperatures that seem to sneak in overnight. When the water can’t run freely off the roof and down the drainpipes because of leaves and other debris clogging the gutters, it may freeze and get stuck, weighing down the gutters and causing damage.
Over time, if a buildup of snow and ice is stuck in the gutters by collected debris, the weight may be too much for the gutters to handle. This can sometimes result in the gutters being pulled from the roof. More commonly, they simply bend or crack in between two connection points, and a portion of the gutter must be replaced. However, far more dangerous to your home than a gutter splitting in two is the danger of ice dams.
Ice dams occur when snow that has fallen into the gutters melts and refreezes, forming an impenetrable barrier that water cannot get through. This means that all of the snowmelt is forced to stay in the gutters, and eventually it will be forced to stay on the roof. As water melts during the day, it will seep through the shingles, working its way underneath them and gathering above the roof sheeting. If there is a crack in the waterproof sheeting or if the water refreezes and expands, it can get through the sheeting to the wooden bottom of the roof. The wood will absorb the water and begin to sustain a good deal of damage, likely leading to a leak in no time at all.
A leak in your roof during the winter is one of the last things you want to happen to your house, as it can lead to damaged and ineffective insulation, weakened roof support, and mold and mildew. If it goes undetected for a few months, your roof could be damaged to the point that it will need serious repairs or replacement, and the energy efficiency of your home will likely have decreased even more than usual. All of this can happen in a single season simply because you forgot to clean the gutters at the beginning of winter.
Protecting Your Home
There are a few ways to prevent such widespread damage, the simplest of which is to properly maintain your gutters. If you see any damage or suspect clogs that you can’t get rid of or locate, call a professional.
If you want to hire the best gutter professionals in Colorado, look no further than Colorado Seamless Gutters. We have the latest and greatest in ice dam removal equipment. Learn more about the Arctic Steamer today! We serve both the Denver and Boulder areas and will be glad to come to your home and help you with whatever gutter needs you might have.