During warm weather clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to backup into the eaves of your home, leading to water damage and rotten wood.
In the winter that same backup can freeze and result in ice dams, which can damage the roof of your home. The slower water drains out of gutters, the easier it is to freeze, and the longer it takes for gutters and downspouts to drain once the temperature rises back above freezing.
In addition the added weight of the ice can also cause gutters to pull away from the house.
Since it can be dangerous to climb on a roof in freezing weather and it may damage the shingles, wait until the weather warms up before attempting to clean your gutters or roof.
Watch this video to find out more.
- How to Clean and Repair Gutters (article)
- Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts (video)
- How to Unclog and Clean Downspouts (video)
Danny Lipford: I talk all the time about the importance of keeping your roof and gutters clean throughout the year, but when the weather turns really cold it’s more important than ever.
Clogged gutters can mean a back-up of water into the fascia and soffit areas of your home, causing water damage and rotting wood. But in the wintertime, that same backup is likely to freeze and really compound the problem.
The slower water drains out of these things, the more likely it is to freeze over and the longer it will take for them drain once the temperature rises back up above freezing. In addition to the possibility of water damage, now you’ve created the potential for some structural damage to your home.
And if your home already has a problem with ice dams from melting snow further up, clogged gutters will only make that problem worse. If the freezing temperatures have already hit, and you discover that your gutters are clogged, don’t jump on the roof and try to solve it. Ice and walking on a roof just don’t mix. Plus, the shingles are very brittle from the cold, and you may do more harm than good.
Clear as much debris out of the gutter as you can while working from a ladder, and make sure the downspouts are completely free from any clogs. Finally, go ahead and mark down a gutter cleaning Saturday on the calendar now for next fall so that you’re not this predicament again next year.