You may recall that back in the fall we reminded everyone of the importance of keeping the gutters clean and free from debris. Now that Old Man Winter is here to stay, it’s important to point out what can happen if your gutters aren’t properly maintained.
Right now the mercury is hovering well below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Couple that with the snow we’ve accumulated over the past couple of weeks and there’s a danger of developing ice dams in your gutters if there’s a build up of debris. That’s because when termperature rises above freezing, there’s an opportunity for the snow and ice to melt and be properly discharged out of the gutters and downspouts, But, if there’s debris blocking the path of the water, it could refreeze. When this happens, the ice may expand under the shingles, leaving moisture seeping into your home. This can lead to those pesky brown water spots on the ceiling and cause permanent damage to your roof.
We want to point out, too, that if ice dams develops, don’t panic! There are steps you may be able to take to prevent damage. For instance, if it’s safe to reach the roof, you could use a roof rake to knock the ice dam off its block or cut a channel through the ice, so that the water can drain. Another trick of the trade is to fill a nylon sock with ice melt and rest it across the ice dam to foster proper melting, Travelers Insurance notes on its website. Keep in mind, too, that you should not use rock salt for this, as it can cause damage to your roof (calcium chloride is the way to go—the insurance company recommends).
And, if your gutters can’t be salvaged come spring, give us a call. We are the premier exterior home service and maintenance provider of Massachusetts and we can install your home’s new gutters.