Can Gutters and Downspouts Damage my Home in Winter?

January 13, 2018

icy guttersWinter is a rough time for your home’s exterior. Your gutters have a particularly tough job to do, with cold water running through them all season long.

As the water freezes, ice expands and makes the gutters heavy, which becomes quite a burden to bear. Then, the ice melts and refreezes. This constant expanding and contracting can be a recipe for disaster for your gutters, downspouts, and other parts of your home. It’s important to keep your eyes peeled so that you can detect any damages before they cause serious and more expensive problems.

Keep an Eye on Your Gutters

Your downspouts and gutters have a tough job in the winter! All of the snow and ice melts and refreezes and melts again, which places a lot of stress on the gutters and drainpipe covers. Springtime is usually too late to avoid damage from improperly functioning gutters and downspouts, so check them regularly during the cold months.

When you check your gutters, there are certain things you should be on the lookout for.


Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and make certain that downspout extensions at the ground keep the water running away from the home’s foundation.

A good way to check to make sure your downspouts are functioning efficiently is to stand outside during a heavy rain and watch the edge of your roof. If water drips off the edges of the roof, it isn’t being properly diverted away, and you probably will need to hire a professional for commercial roof repair and maintenance.

Take Extra Care Around Trees

If you live on a heavily wooded lot be sure tree branches do not overhang your roof.  Heavy snow can cause branches to break and damage your roof (ref.: Martin Tree Service, LLC).

Consider the installation of gutters from professional installers like Northern Lights Exteriors, and a leaf protection system for your gutters and downspouts to avoid clogged gutters that can contribute to water penetration at the foundation or at the roof.

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Posted In: Maintenance Tips