You might never think about it, but your downspouts do so much to protect your house. It works to divert rainwater away from your house, preventing pools or puddles. A pool or puddle too close to your house could damage it and its foundation.
Since it has a crucial job, it’s important to maintain it year-round. But it’s especially important to maintain it during the winter. Why? Because your downspouts are more susceptible to damage in the winter than at any other time of the year.
What Happens to Downspouts in Winter?
Several things can happen to downspouts during winter.
Snow and rain don’t enter the downspout directly. It first lands on the roof. From there the water on the roof seeps to the downspouts entrance.
If there is too much debris in the downspouts, the water can get stuck inside. Because it’s so cold, the water will freeze. And this is never good because now your downspout has to carry a heavy load.
Another reason for ice buildup is when heavy snowfall covers the bottom of the downspout. Again, this will block the water inside and freeze it there.
What possible damages come from ice buildup in downspouts?
Downspouts are for flowing water, not ice. The walls of the downspout might not be able to handle the heavy load of ice.
The ice or heavy load can easily tear apart the walls. Or worse, collapse the whole downspout in your home.
Downspout tears lead to water leaks, improper drainage, or no drainage at all, it collapses. In turn, this could lead to damage to your house and foundation. Because remember, that is what downspouts protect your house from.
You’ll also have to pay quite a lot for repairs or replacements.
If you want to avoid all this, then make sure you prepare your downspout for the cold months ahead.
How Do You Prevent Downspouts from Freezing?
Now let’s explain how you can prevent downspouts from freezing.
Before winter arrives, you need to make sure that the downspout is clean of all debris, leaves, or whatnot. With those gone. there won’t be anything to block the water’s flow.
There’s nothing you can do to prepare the downspout’s bottom from heavy snowfall. But you should always keep a shovel nearby to remove any snow that is blocking.
The more effective way to prevent downspouts from freezing is by using a heating cable. Yes, there are now heating cables for gutters.
lithe weather is below freezing point, the water can turn ice even without anything blocking it. This is why heating cables are the best option.
The heating cables keep the inside of the downspout always warm, which means it will melt away any ice form.
If you’ve already made the mistake of not preparing your downspout, don’t worry. An easy way to remove the ice buildup in downspouts is to pour warm water down its drains. Like the heating cable, the warm water will melt the ice away.
It is very, very important to prepare your downspout for winter. You should never think it’s a waste of your time or it’s useless. It will do so much for your expenses and especially your home protection.