Whether you have traditional or seamless aluminum gutters, a certain amount of maintenance is necessary to ensure they function properly and protect your property, particularly during the fall and winter. After all, they’re located outdoors and are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Here’s a look at some basic tasks to take care of now that the weather’s turning cooler.

How to Protect Your Gutters During the Cold Season

1. Keep Them Clean

As the trees shed their leaves this fall, a lot of them are going to end up in your gutters. This debris makes it difficult for rain to flow through the lanes, down the downspouts, and safely away from your home foundation. Furthermore, whatever moisture doesn’t spill over next to the base of the house will attach to the detritus and end up freezing when the temperature plummets. This will cause additional runoff to get stuck on the roof and potentially back up underneath the shingles, causing damage to the roof deck. 

Avoid all these problems by cleaning your gutters after all the leaves have fallen and before it starts getting frosty outside. Also, try to repeat this maintenance again in the spring—or more frequently if your home is surrounded by trees. 

2. Trim Trees

After your seamless aluminum gutters are clean, protect them from getting clogged again by trimming back any tree branches hanging over your home. This will also prevent limbs weakened or damaged by snow from landing on your roof. Later on, when the trees are fully dormant, you can fully prune them back to keep them healthy and prevent overgrowth again in the spring. 

3. Install Heat Tape

seamless aluminum guttersIce is a serious threat to your gutters. It adds extra weight that can cause them to bend or pull away from the home. It may also block downspouts and form behind the metal drip edge, which can cause damage to the fascia and roof deck. Most notably, it may lead to dangerous icicles and ice dams that block melt from running off, damage the shingles, and lead to potential water damage inside the home. 

While keeping the gutters clean is a high priority for preventing all these problems, adding heating tape inside the lane and downspouts is an extra measure for stopping ice growth. Have a professional install these cords to ensure they’re safely and precisely added and won’t overheat. 

If you want to make your gutters easier to maintain, talk to the professionals at Ray St. Clair Roofing about installing gutter guards or their specialty protection system, Gutter Helmet®. For over 60 years, this family-owned and -operated business has provided a variety of home exterior services to the Greater Cincinnati, OH, area, including seamless aluminum gutters. They can also assist with everything from roof replacements to skylight installation. Give them a call at (513) 874-1234 for a quote and visit them online to learn more about their gutter products and services.