With fall well underway and winter upon us, it’s time to make sure that your gutters are in good shape for winter. Whether you need a refresher course or you’re a first-time homeowner and this is your first winter caring for your home, review these tips for healthy, happy gutters that will keep you until spring.

1. Weight is an enemy of your gutters

When your gutters are carrying too much weight, you are at risk of many different gutter problems, including sagging gutters, gutters that pull away from your fascia boards, or gutters that break off altogether.

The biggest source of weight in your gutters? If you are thinking that it’s the weight of built-up debris and leaves in your gutters, you’re wrong. The bigger source of weight that damages gutters is ice. However, the reason ice has a chance to build up in your gutters is that your gutters are probably clogged with leaves that have plugged the drainage holes.

Therefore, the biggest thing you can do for your gutters in the fall, before winter snow and ice hits us in earnest, is to ensure that all your gutters are draining quickly and correctly and that there is no buildup of debris inside your gutters that could slow water’s exit from your drainage channels.

Repairing or re-installing gutters will cost a lot more money than it would have cost to schedule a simple gutter cleaning, so make sure that you call Iron Horse GutterWorks if you haven’t done so already. We’ll be happy to come out, clean your gutters, and assess whether there are other tasks that need to be done to your gutters before winter.

2. Ice dams are an enemy of your roof

Ice dams are what happens once your home’s gutters become built up with ice and snow and then further snow and ice begins to stack up on your shingles above the gutters. Ice dams are a major source of water damage, and depending on the strength and integrity of your roof (and the amount of snow that has fallen), they can also put your roof at risk of structural damage or caving in.

The main reason for ice dams? You guessed it – gutters that are clogged with leaves, pine needles, or other debris that stops water from draining correctly out of your gutters. If you’re starting to see a pattern, you’re right. Cleaning out your gutters is a mundane task, but it can protect you from a lot of far more damaging problems.

Be sure to be safe when cleaning your gutters in the cold

With winter’s cold already upon us, it can be more dangerous than usual to clean your own gutters, from the risk of putting up a ladder to the risk of ice, not to speak of the fact that your hands will get cold pulling all those cold, wet leaves out of your gutters. The simplest way to stay safe while you get your gutters cleaned is to schedule a gutter cleaning. The friendly professionals at Iron Horse GutterWorks will be happy to come and take care of you, so schedule your appointment today.