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Gutters may not be particularly glamorous or sexy, and when they’re flowing properly you probably don’t give them a second thought. But when they aren’t going with the flow, problems can quickly ensue! Clogged or damaged gutters can eventually fill with water, which is enough to cause its own set of issues for your roof and for your home’s infrastructure.
Winter adds an even more interesting plot twist to the story. But first, a quick science lesson is in order:
Q: What’s the only common substance on Earth that expands when it goes from a liquid to a solid?
In case you missed the significance of that, consider that typically, the solid form of any substance is more dense than the liquid. Water is an unusual exception to that rule. When water freezes, the bond angles between water molecules actually increase, causing ice to be less dense. This is why ice floats in water, rather than sinking.
Now, let’s connect the dots. When water begins to freeze in your gutters, the ice will expand in volume. This won’t necessarily cause any problems as long as the ice has “room to grow.” But if your gutters are clogged, the expanding ice can lead to a number of significant problems:
Over the course of a long winter’s cold spell, more and more ice can collect in your downspouts. If the downspouts become completely clogged with ice, this can cause enough backup to do permanent damage to your gutter system.
With clogged downspouts and gutters, ice slabs can form along the roofline. As these slabs melt, water can seep in under the roofline, which can cause damage to both your external roofing and its underlying sheathing.
Heavy ice can put undue strain on your gutters, which can eventually lead to ineffective gutter protection and even collapsed gutters.
Icicles are pretty, but heavy icicles hanging over your gutters can become deadly projectiles. The weight of those hanging icicles can also loosen your gutters from their anchors, leading to potential gutter compromise.
Ice that has built up in your gutters can then start to grow under the drip edge. This ice can get behind the metal and expand into your fascia and roof decking. Over time, this can rot out the wood.
Once winter is over and all that ice melts, the water then has to go somewhere. If the water isn’t flowing through your gutters properly, it can infiltrate your roof, your siding, and eventually even your building’s interior.
As you can see, all it takes is some blockage to lead to a gutter system breakdown. But you can avoid these worst-case scenarios by simply performing a little timely gutter maintenance and inspection. Here are some essential tips and things to look for:
Skywalker Windows & Siding is a name you can trust. We actually got our start in roofing services (which we still provide!), so we really are the gutter experts across the NC Piedmont Triad, Triangle, Charlotte Metro, and Roanoke, VA areas. We’re happy to come out for a FREE inspection, and then we’ll sit down with you to discuss all your options, including everything from repair to replacement. We’re also happy to provide new seamless gutter and gutter guard installations, and we have all the needed tools, experience, and know-how to take care of your needs.
Plus, we do much more than just roofs and gutters; we also provide other valuable home improvement services including windows and siding installation and replacement, blown insulation services, deck and porch additions, and more! Reach out to us today, and give us the opportunity to show you the Skywalker difference!
Book your appointment now & get a free Estimate.