In recent weeks of heavy snowfall in Chicago, many homeowners have been frustrated by potential damage from large amounts of ice on their gutters and roof, as well as water seeping into their homes.

According to George Uhlmann, the longtime owner of Uhlmann Home Improvement Inc., many homeowners are reporting problems with ice that is causing their gutters and downspouts to fall off or become damaged from twisting and bending due to the accumulation of ice.

Uhlmann said there are several ways to prevent or reduce these problems, but steps must be taken before winter.

Late in the fall, he said, is the best time to clean out gutters of all leaves, sticks and other debris.

Many homeowners fail to clean the gutters before winter, and the debris in the gutters adds weight to the snow and ice in the gutters.

Preparing for winter snow is important, Uhlmann said, and it must begin in the fall. He offered the following advice for that task.

•Clean gutters and downspouts of all leaves and debris

•Make sure that gutters are pitched correctly and enabling the flow of water.

•Check gutter hangers to make sure they are secure

•Replace hangers that are short or broken

•Seal all corners and end caps

•Replace miters that can’t be repaired

•Check that downspouts are clear and not damaged

Uhlmann said these steps are important in ensuring a home will make it through any bad winter, and he added that gutters should be inspected every three to fours years to make sure they are operating at top efficiency.

For more information, call Uhlmann at (773) 238-1829.