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Should You Detach Your Downspouts for the Winter Season?

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Downspouts and downspout extensions are a key part of your gutter system. You may have heard or read people remove them for the winter season — but is it worth the trouble? In today’s post, Advantage Seamless Gutters takes a look at whether or not it’s a good idea to remove downspouts for the season.

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What Happens When You Remove Your Downspouts and Downspout Extensions for the Winter?

It may not rain as often during the winter season. However, you have to consider that snow does melt, and gutters without their downspouts or their extensions will not be able to route the meltwater properly. This will expose your home to the same risks of damage presented by unrouted rainwater — damage to the house foundations, siding, even flooding inside your house through the basement windows.

Some people recommend removing just the downspout extensions for the season because they may form ice blockages. In the case of flexible extensions, they may move around and get covered or blocked by snow. However, your gutter extensions are there because they facilitate proper water routing, and removing them brings about several risks.

Other Risks of Removing Your Downspouts and Extensions in Winter

  • Debris buildup. Detaching downspouts and downspout extensions in the winter can result in debris gathering around the gutters. Leaves, twigs, and other materials can accumulate in the areas where the downspouts or extensions were because there will be no water to wash them away.
  • Water damage. The purpose of having a gutter system is to keep water away from the house foundations. Disrupting the moisture balance in the soil around the foundations can cause the house to settle. Excess moisture absorbed by the house foundations would expand as it freezes, and cause cracks.
  • Damage to the gutter troughs. Removing the downspouts can cause icicles to form around the joints where the downspouts are attached to, which can ultimately result in clogged gutters. When meltwater accumulates in the gutter troughs, it can place strain on the metal parts as it expands while freezing, resulting in cracks.

How to Keep Your Gutters from Freezing

Removing downspouts and downspout extensions is more trouble than it’s worth. Fortunately, you can protect your gutters from freezing by making sure that the gutters are cleaned and well-maintained during the season. You should also inspect your gutters periodically throughout the season to make sure they are draining properly, and call a gutter professional when they’re not. Additionally, consider investing in downspout insulation and a gutter protection system equipped with heaters.

Advantage Seamless Gutters offers various gutter services in Baxter, MN including repair and maintenance, as well as installation of seamless gutters and gutter protection systems. Call us today at (218) 270-2663 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.