As many homeowners in the Minneapolis area know, winter weather has a tendency to be hard on roofing and gutters. Ice build-up and damming are dreaded but common occurrences. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your home and reduce potential damages.
Ice Build-up and DammingWhile ice build-up and ice damming are not the same thing, they often work together to create hazards to your roof and gutter system. When ice builds up in your gutters, it prevents runoff water from draining properly. The water then trickles over the gutters, forming a dam as well as some telltale icicles. While your children may admire the shiny icicles hanging from the roof, they add undo weight to the entire gutter system, making it susceptible to partial or total collapse. Worse yet, as the ice begins to melt, the water can easily seep through the roofing into the attic, resulting in an expensive water repair job.
Taking Preventative MeasuresIt's often said "Prevention is the best solution," and this is definitely true when it comes to winter gutter damage. Here are some tips to maintaining your gutter system and prepping it for the snowy weather.
- Have your gutters cleaned prior to the first major snowfall. Gutter debris is one of the primary causes of ice dams.
- Check over your roof and secure any loose shingles, which could let moisture into your attic.
- Consider using rooftop heating cables. These can be quite pricey, but they're an excellent investment if you're concerned about protecting your roof and increasing your home's resale value.
- Try using a roof rake to remove excessive amounts of snow. Just be careful not to get the rake caught in the gutters!