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4 Tips to Prevent Snow Slide Damage

to Your Gutters
Mother Nature has a way of challenging Minnesota homeowners' gutters during the winter season. The cold weather brings snow that can make gutters work overtime. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, “The average annual snowfall varies from 36 inches in the southwest to more than 70 inches along the Lake Superior snow belt." You can accept the challenge with some simple tips to help avoid the costly repair of gutter damage from heavy snow.

Why Do Gutters Fall Down in Snowstorms?

The weight of snow can stress gutters all on its own. As the snow falls, layers accumulate. Add ice and sleet to the wintery mix, and the load increases. The excess weight of the heavy snow build-up can create an avalanche or snow slide, especially on slate, metal, and tile roofs. These snow slides add strain to the gutters to the point where they can disconnect or collapse. Besides causing significant problems for your gutter system, this can also lead to roof damage. Fortunately, you can take steps to help diminish potential issues when a big snowstorm comes your way.
Consider Snow Guards

Depending on your roof style, you might consider snow guards. Snow guards are small braces made of metal or plastic. They are attached strategically on roofs to stop snow from sliding off all at once in big sheets. The tremendous weight of snow slides can cause gutters to break and detach. While snow guards help prevent snow slides that can cause damage, they are not right for everyone. Not all roof styles allow for snow guards. One alternative is to have your gutters lowered. Additionally, rails can be installed to address snow slide problems if you have a slate roof. Regardless of the method you may choose, each option can be an expensive fix.

Add a Warming Cable

A warming cable, also called heat tape, can be installed on your roof and inside your gutter system to make snow melt faster. Thermostats can be used to activate the heated cable when the temperature drops. Although heat tape will speed up the melting process, it won't work beyond a few feet of snow on your roof. To learn more, read our blog post about heat tape here.

Trim Tree Limbs

Trim tree limbs that hang over your roof and gutters. Snow can build up on limbs and weigh them down, eventually causing them to break or dump snow on your roof on a windy day. Unfortunately, one heavy tree limb or large deposit of snow falling onto your roof can trigger an avalanche. Therefore, it's a good idea to trim back any tree limbs that might cause problems for your home during the winter season.

Inspect Gutters Throughout the Year

Inspect your gutters regularly throughout the year. Check to make sure there are no parts of the gutter system that leak, have holes, or are loose. In the spring, if you notice that your gutters are pitched forward, overflowing, or are not working properly, it could be a sign of snow slide damage from the previous winter.

Get a Free Estimate this Winter

We have seen plenty of snowstorms in Maple Plain and the surrounding areas of Minnesota. With our 20 years of industry experience, we know the potential gutter problems winter can bring.

If you are interested in learning more about protecting your gutter system this winter or finding out about our annual maintenance programs, contact us at 612-834-0664. We take great pride in our work and are always happy to answer any questions about gutter services for your home.

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