3 Common Issues With Gutters During the Winter

3 Common Issues With Gutters During the Winter

Homeowners tend to forget about the gutters on their roof once fall is over and they’ve removed any built-up leaves or debris. Although there is very little foliage during winter to cause clogs, you still need to be aware of other concerns that could pose a problem. Learn what to watch for during winter and gutters maintenance in the guide below.

What Issues Do Gutters Experience in the Winter?

1. Ice Dams

Your home generates heat, especially during the winter when you’re likely running the furnace regularly. This heat will transfer to the roof and gradually melt any existing snow or ice. Once it melts, the water will flow to the gutters, which will likely be freezing. This will turn the water back into ice.

Eventually, this ice will form a dam that can compromise the integrity of the gutters. The weight can cause the metal to bend or break. To avoid this issue, clear out the gutters before winter starts, and ensure you have proper insulation to prevent heat transfer from the roof.

2. Icicles & Heavy Snow


After a severe storm, layers of snow may build up on the gutters. Any water runoff will freeze and form icicles that hang off the gutters. These two components combined can put extraordinary stress on the system, causing it to bend at the seams and pull away from soffits.

Immediately after a storm, try to remove as much snow as possible by raking away any buildup with an extendable rake. Don’t stand on a ladder, as this can pose a risk of injury. Instead, stand at least four feet away from the home. You can also use the rake to break off any icicles.

3. Severe Weather

Inclement winter weather doesn’t just pose a risk of snow accumulation—it also includes strong gusts of winds. If the speeds are high enough, they could rip your gutters right off the roof. They could also cause overhanging branches to break off and fall onto the gutters. The best way to protect against this is to schedule an inspection to address any loose fastenings on the system or cut overhanging branches.