Protect against winter storm damage with proper gutter care

winter storm damageConsumerAffairs.com posted this story regarding home damage caused by winter storms. The article states that winter storms are the third largest cause of home damage. If you were one of the millions of people affected by the February 2010 winter storms you know this is true.

During February 2010 northeastern states were hit extremely hard with record breaking amounts of snow. Additionally, the continued cold, wind, and ice build up during that time period wrecked havoc on homes. Many federal agencies in Washington, DC were forced to close for up to 4 1/2 days due to the storm's severity. The Federal Emergency Management Agency got involved by providing assistance to many states and committed $891 million for relief.
 
The ConsumerAffairs.com article lists several ways of protecting your home against winter damage; one of them is cleaning out your gutters. Too many home owners found out that leaf clogged gutters allow ice to form on the gutters and onto the roof. If enough ice forms, the weight of it can tear gutters and parts of the roof right off of your home. The heavy ice can even make porch roofs collapse and tear siding off of the house. 

Damage from clogged gutters.
Gutters can easily get clogged with leaves and other debris. Before you know it the flow of rain water and melted snow is blocked and it backs up. Overflowing or dripping water from gutters can cause foundation problems - continued water leakage down the side of your home into your foundation will create cracks in the walls and leaks as well. In climates where the ground freezes and then expands constantly the problem can be even worse.


How to Clean Rain Gutters and Downspouts


More reasons to clean out your gutters in the fall and spring:
-Avoid insects and mosquitoes.
-Control the growth of mold on and around your home.
-damage to your roof and gutters from water freezing.
-Stop the overflow of rain water out of the gutters.
-Helps your roof last longer.
-Water overflowing can cause wood siding to bow or become moldy over time.

If you have ever heard of a product called Gutter Helmet  you may like the idea of a protective top applied to your gutters to prevent leaves from clogging them. The problem with Gutter Helmet is the high cost. Many hardware stores sell alternatives that are just as effective though. For example, you can buy a 2 foot long section of a gutter screen for about $1.50. The screen slides under the shingles of the roof and clips into the gutter. Water coming off the roof goes through the screen but debris does not. What other alternatives have you found to preventing water and ice damage to your home?

 
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