When it comes to being ready for spring water management, fall is when you have to prepare. “The spring thaw signals the beginning of water problems if you are not prepared. Snow, ice and ice dams build up over the winter, and depending on the rate of thaw and the condition of your gutters, it can be a rude awakening,” explains Dave Catherman of Gutter Glove.
Timing Is Everything
Weather over the last few years shows how destructive water can be when conditions conspire to create havoc. A good example is the tremendous volume of water the upper Midwest received in the summer of 2007, coupled with record snowfall through the winter. Any one of those situations would not have been a problem for most people by itself. But when combined together, heavy water flows are created and saturate the ground that leads to multiple water problems.
Hydrostatic water pressure, or water seeping up between the basement floor and foundations can be a result of bad weather. An important step to manage water is by directing the water away from your foundation altogether. Properly sized and correctly configured gutters play an important role in protecting your home. Let’s face it, if water doesn’t reach your foundation it can’t leak into your basement. If you have tried various solutions and nothing is working, installing drain tile is a last line of defense for removing water once it has seeped into your foundation.
Check Your Water Management System
Part of checking the water management system around your home involves looking at gutters and downspouts on a regular basis. Snow coupled with freezing then thawing can cause many problems. Rough winters can be tough on gutters. Ice dams and ice in the gutters often cause gutters to bend, sometimes ripping them from the fascia or resulting in attachment screws snapping off. Debris in your gutters, such as leaves and small sticks, can prevent water to be guided away from your roof and foundation.
Note that these problems can be magnified by having the wrong sized gutters for the surface area on your roof (such as having a five inch gutter instead of a six inch gutter) or downspouts (two inch by three inch downspouts instead of a three inch by four inch). Inadequate gutters and downspouts look fine in good weather, however, when the weather turns, they can be overrun with too much water. As a result of extra water, the gutters and downspouts cannot do the job they are intended to do. This can result in thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Ensuring Top Performance
Even if your gutters and downspouts are sized correctly, debris can impede or block the gutter’s flow, diminishing performance. Gutter Glove and similar products are designed to move water effectively so that your gutters can protect your home. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear is necessary to protect your home from water damage.
To help improve your ability to control the ice and water problems, you may want to consider an electric wire device such as Heat Trace. An electric wire device is inserted into your gutters. This helps to eliminate conditions for ice buildup and dams.
The best time to protect your home for next spring is now, in the fall before the snow comes. Clean out your gutters and make sure your downspouts are clear. Water trapped in gutters by debris will contribute to ice build up that can cause shingle damage and leaks into your attic. Heat Trace and similar products can help eliminate ice buildup and keep water flowing away from your home.