Are gutters necessary to protect your home? Our answer is YES, gutters are necessary to protect your home. When you’re a homeowner, you know you have to do regular maintenance to your home, and maintaining and repairing your gutters might be part of that regular maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about some common issues people have with their gutters:
- Why some roofers say “no” to gutters
- Gutter clogs
- Frozen gutters
- Ice dams
Why Some Roofers Say “No” to Gutters
Some roofers may advise you against installing a gutter. If this is the case, make sure to have the roofer specify exactly why you’d be better off without installing gutters. Some roofers claim that the facial boards of your roof (the boards that support your roof’s overhang) can be damaged because of gutters. While some improperly installed gutters can indeed splash facial boards during a rainstorm, causing them to rot, most facial boards are inexpensive to replace. If your gutters are properly installed, you won’t have this issue at all.
Some roofers may also advise you against installing gutters for the simple reason that it takes a lot of labor to install gutters. Good roofers will walk you through the pros and cons of installing gutters. In some cases, a roofer may suggest extending the roof instead of adding a gutter.
There are two common excuses from homeowners when they believe they want to remove their gutters. However, both of these problems are solvable!
Most people love autumn unless they’re responsible for dead leaves in yards and in gutters. Leaf litter poses a serious threat whenever it accumulates in gutters. Storm drains and gutters are designed so that water can flow quickly after a rainfall. But if drains or gutters become blocked or clogged, you might have a serious flooding issue on your hands. What’s worse? Cleaning leaves out of your gutters, or your home and yard flooding?
Leaf litter decomposes quickly in gutters, and this may release more nutrients into surface water after rain. You want to prevent this because algae might grow if not. That being said, a certain amount of nutrients from decomposing leaves will actually help your plants grow in your garden and lawn, but not too much.
If you live on a property with several trees, of course there will be buildup and debris in your gutters. This problem can be fixed by adding gutter covers, which are relatively inexpensive and not too difficult to install. Gutter covers will prevent larger debris like leaves, and they will also prevent birds from nesting in your gutter.
Why Do Gutters Freeze?
There are a few different reasons why gutters may freeze, depending on your specific location and climate. One of the most common reasons for gutter freezing is a blockage that causes water to build up and turn into ice. This is usually the case in areas where trees drop leaves, limbs, and berries into gutters, causing buildup over the years. This buildup will not allow water to flow adequately through the gutter, and when coupled with freezing temperatures, this rain freezes.
Another reason a gutter may freeze is due to snow or sleet build up in the gutter. If snow starts to build up in the gutter and freezes before it can melt and flow through properly, you can have problems. This is usually the case in areas that see more snow throughout the winter. The good news is that both of these issues are preventable.
Ways To Prevent Ice From Forming
As we mentioned before, frozen gutters are preventable—and preventing them from freezing over is the best way to maintain your home over the winter. These solutions might require a bit of an investment of time and/or money, however, they will pay off in the long-run as they are sure to add significant value to your home.
Have a Heating Panel Installed: A popular way to treat gutters that frequently freeze over is having a heating panel installed. A heating panel can safely and effectively melt the ice without damage to your home or gutters. This usually requires a professional to install and will most likely be the costliest of solutions. If you have the budget for this type of device to be installed, it will be one of the easiest ways to defrost frozen gutters.
Keep Gutters Clean: For a more preventable approach, you are going to want to keep your gutters as clean as possible to prevent any build-up that can cause water retention. While this may not be as effective in areas that see frozen gutters from an abundance of snow, it can be very effective for those who deal with cluttered gutters. Cleaning your gutters yearly by hand or spraying them out with a water hose can drastically improve the function and life of your gutters, no matter what they are made of. This will also help to prevent overflow from backups of just rain, not just ice.
Have High-Quality Gutter Guards Installed: Homeowners that have high-quality, stainless steel mesh gutter guard systems in place can expect to slash their maintenance efforts enormously—while enjoying a clog-free gutter system on a year-round basis. Stainless steel mesh gutter guards block fine debris from entering the system which helps to prevent ice from forming over the winter season.
When snow hits, keep in mind that it can damage your gutters. But remember that many types of snow, cold, and ice can wreak havoc on your gutters – not just snow. Ideally, snow and ice would thaw and run into your gutters. In real life, constant subfreezing temperatures tend to hinder that process. As a result, ice and snowpack can build up inside the gutters, which produce additional weight on the gutter sections and the fasteners that hold them. Over time, this added stress can cause gutters to buckle, bend, separate, or pull away from the roofline of a home.
So how can you reduce snow and ice damage to your gutters?
Keep your gutters clean during the winter if you want to avoid replacing them altogether. If leaves, twigs, and other debris are allowed to build up inside gutters, it facilitates the formation of ice and snow blockages which stop water from running off into drains. When this water has nowhere to go, it does one of two things: either drips onto the ground below, causing landscape erosion and icy patches on pavement; or it freezes inside the gutters, creating even more stress on the entire guttering system.
Gutter covers will help your gutters avoid damage from snow, ice, or cold. Prepare ahead of cold winter and have gutter covers installed so that you don’t end up with a bigger bill than you’d like to pay for in the future.
Call a Professional
When it comes to all your gutter needs, we recommend relying on the help of a professional. At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’re here to help however we can. We provide quality insulation installation and gutter installation and repair services across the Triad area. If your home or business is located in Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, or surrounding areas in North Carolina, let our professionals help you with all your insulation and gutter needs today.