One Stop Home Improvement

The Weight of Winter: Handling Snow Accumulation in Gutters


Old Man Winter will be making his appearance in the coming weeks, bringing with him frigid temperatures and snow and ice storms. Though we have a mild winter here in Lynchburg compared to other parts of the country, we still get our fair share of winter weather. Our daytime highs are rarely below 40°, but our overnight lows often linger around 30°, making it cold enough to get snow or ice storms.


Past snowstorms have dumped 4-6” in Central Virginia, covering our roofs, driveways, yards, and cars. Another part of the home’s exterior snow will fall and collect in? The gutters. Snow accumulation on any part of the home can be dangerous, especially the gutter system. Keep reading how to handle snow accumulation in gutters to be better prepared to protect and clear your gutters this winter.



Dangers of Snow Accumulation in Gutters

While 4-6” of snow doesn’t seem like an overwhelming amount, it can wreak havoc on a residential gutter system. How? Snow can be very heavy, especially if it’s that wet snow we dream of making snowballs in. The powdery snow we can kick high into the air weighs less but can still be heavy. 


Did you know that snow weighs approximately 20 lbs per cubic foot? The higher the moisture in the snow, the more it weighs. That’s a lot of weight for one cubic foot! Of course, it would get even heavier if the snow falls on top of a gutter system that already has ice or snow from a previous storm inside the gutters or on the gutter screen/filter.


Let’s say you have a section of gutters that runs across the front of your home. Say the gutter measures around 15 feet in length, and the gutters are about 4 inches. If we get between 4-6” of snow in a single storm, the snow that collects and settles inside a gutter system could weigh around 30-40lbs. That’s a lot of weight for the average gutter system!

Excess weight on a gutter system from snow accumulation could lead to many dangers and damage to your gutter system, especially if it’s older or has previous damage. The average gutter system can’t handle excess snow accumulation, causing potential damage: sagging gutters, gutters tearing away from the home, ice dams, leaking gutters, and more.



How to Deal with Snow Accumulation in Gutters

Knowing how much excess pressure accumulated snow can put on your gutter system, wouldn’t you do anything to protect it? If your gutter system is relatively young and doesn’t have existing damage, you’ll want to address heavy snow as soon as possible to avoid damage. Below are a few measures you can take to deal with snow accumulation in gutters:


Remove Clogs Before the Next Snowstorm

Keeping your gutters clean and free of clogs keeps the entire system running smoothly and avoids clogs and blockages that impede water flow and lead to extensive damage. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your gutters, clean them before the next storm. Clearing debris like leaves, twigs, pine needles, and even pests/insects will help your gutters drain snowmelt faster, aiding in keeping excess pressure from snowfall to a minimum.

Gutter cleaning can be a dangerous task, so use caution, ask a friend to help, or hire a professional gutter cleaning service like K-Guard / One Stop Home Improvement Shop. We’ll ensure your gutters are sparkling clean before the next snowstorm to avoid clogged gutters.


Carefully Remove Snow

After a snowstorm and when the weather is clear, you can remove snow from your gutters to prevent excess weight on your gutter system from snow accumulation. Hiring a snow removal company is the safest option. They can remove snow from your gutters and clear them for the next snowstorm.


Consider Having Your Home’s Insulation Checked

Gutters hug the roofline, which is right near the attic. If your attic doesn’t have proper insulation, it could be causing ice dams to form. Ice dams are thick pieces of ice that form, melt, and reform from snowmelt inside the gutters that are left to refreeze and are blocked by clogs in the gutter. Poor insulation could be exacerbating ice dams – get it checked if you suspect your attic’s insulation is poor.

Of course, the above are temporary fixes to keep snow accumulations inside a gutter system at bay. If you’re looking for a permanent way to reduce snow accumulation in your gutters, consider installing the K-Guard System.



K-Guard is a complete system with oversized gutters and downspouts, and a curved hood, all of which keep debris out and water moving through the gutter system at a rapid pace. Snow won’t be able to enter the system or accumulate on it. Therefore, your gutters won’t be weighed down by heavy snow. Installing K-Guard protects your gutters and home from heavy snow.

K-Guard / One Stop Home Improvement Shop has been installing and repairing gutter systems for decades with tens of thousands of happy customers in Lynchburg and surrounding areas. We can help with all your home improvement needs, whether you need help with an insurance claim or a quote for installing a new roof or gutter system. We’re here to help every step of the way throughout the entire process. Contact us today for a free estimate!