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Whilst many families will be reaching for the sledges to enjoy the snow, some families will be stuck with broken or damaged gutters as a direct consequence of the snow – not to mention the worrying that their home could be damaged.
How does snow affect gutters differently to water?
Snow presents a different set of challenges for fascias and gutters than just rainwater alone. When it rains uPVC gutters and downpipes are designed to catch the rainwater and direct it to the drains at ground level, without causing water damage to the property. When it snows however, gutters very quickly fill up with the snow that has fallen, and if the snow doesn’t quickly melt away quickly it just sits there in the gutters and eventually turns to ice.
When the snow that has fallen into gutters eventually turns to ice is when the real problems start to occur. (Ice is the UK’s number one cause of damage to gutters and drainpipes).
This is caused due to ice having a greater mass than water, meaning it expands breaking gutter seals whilst also creeping over the edge of the gutter forming ice crystals that hang from the gutter.
As the ice crystals expand it adds to the stain and stress on the gutter, gutter brackets and uPVC fascia board. This is further compounded as the snow gathered on the roof slowly melts away and adds to the problem.
Making sure your gutters are up to challenge.
To ensure your uPVC fascias and gutters withstand all winter weather conditions, you need to check your roofline materials are BBA approved before you buy them. This ensures that the uPVC fascias and soffits, gutters and downpipes and gutters brackets have been tested for all eventualities and weight loading. To ensure they are fitted correctly, gutter brackets must be used at no more than 1000mm- 800mm intervals along the gutter lengths (reduced to 600mm in areas with heavy snow fall). Additionally, gutter brackets must be secured into full replacement fascia boards, not capping boards or reveal liners.
For more information, advice or fitting instructions please call Fascia Expert on 01254 918005 or email CustomerService@FasciaExpert.co.uk. For all your uPVC Building Product requirements.