Gutter clearing can be somewhat of a problem during frosty weather. If it’s too cold – the debris in the gutters freezes solid.
The level of frost – how long the frost has been there and how low the temperature, makes a difference. If it’s just a light short frost, then no problem. If it’s been a hard deep frost, then we are going to need to postpone the job.
As the debris is normally mostly mud, it freezes into a solid frozen lump when the temperature drops. The guttering acts like a great big lollipop mould. The resulting frozen mass can’t be easily or effectively cleared.
On days where it is just a frosty morning, but the sun comes out to melt away the ice, then it may be just a case of starting work on your gutters later than planned. The sun fairly quickly melts the ice and it can be cleared as normal. Though there have been times this has been done, only to find that that particular house was sheltered from the sun and still frozen.
This is a picture of some frozen gutter debris – great big gutter lollipops. You can see that the ‘mud’ is frozen into the shape of a rounded gutter
The front of the house was fine to clear, but the rear was still frozen. We had to pump hot water from our van into the gutters to defrost them enough to loosen the ice. Like running a lollipop or ice cube tray under a hot water tap for a moment. Thankfully we have a hot water cleaning system in the van, so we were able to do this. This isn’t idea though, and not something we like to rely on.
Providing there are no big blockages in the downpipes (not so easily removed), there is sufficient space between the gutter and the roof files and we can ‘safely’ get up a ladder to get hands into the gutter then this can be done. It’s a slow process, but it can be done as was done here. Though there are too many ‘ifs’ to be a standard procedure. Thus we normally postpone until the day warms up a bit and everything defrosts.
As hinted above, this isn’t the only problem with frosty weather when gutter clearing. Frost is slippy – for feet and ladders!
Obviously safety plays a big part in this job. So, if the ground or roof tiles are icy and a ladder won’t grip, then we cannot clear the gutters until the sun defrosts things somewhat.
Most people can understand us postponing a job in high winds, we can all easily recognise the dangers of working up a ladder in high winds, but frost and ice can be just as lethal.
So, if your job is planned for a particular day, please don’t think bad of us if we postpone on frosty mornings. We do it for very good reasons.