Gutters are vital in protecting your home from rain and water damage. They also preserve your yard and neighborhood. However, a faulty gutter system can cause roof and gutter repairs. Gutters that don’t allow water to drain to the downspouts can accumulate water on your roof, eventually leading to leakages, which may cause roof problems or wood rot.
Keeping your gutters in good condition should be your top home maintenance priority. Well-maintained gutters ensure your home remains safe during heavy rainfalls or storms and prevent inferior issues such as pests and mold. Here are five crucial gutter maintenance and repair tips to help you stay on top of your home upkeep.
1. Consider your safety first
Ensure you have all the necessary safety tools and equipment before you embark on any gutter maintenance or repair project. You will require a tall enough ladder in order to access your gutters. Ensure you have placed it on an even surface to prevent rocking and have someone beneath to ensure the ladder remains in place if possible. However, if your gutters are more than one story tall or there are power lines nearby, it’s best to call a gutter professional to avoid unnecessary risks.
Get strong, thick, and flexible gloves to protect your hands against muck, filth, or any sharp objects you may encounter. In addition, wear a long-sleeved shirt, preferably one made of rigid material. It’s also important to ensure you wear safety goggles, the right footwear (not sandals or flip flops), and remove any loosely fitted cloth.
2. Check your downspouts
Your gutters carry away the debris and rainwater that washes off the roof, but the downspouts do the rest of the draining. Leaking downspouts may lead to water draining at the base of your home, which can weaken the foundation.
As you should do with the gutters, check your downspouts for rust and leakages. Tighten any loose or detached support and fix any rusted joints. If the damage is beyond repair, replace your downspouts with copper or aluminum ones. Seek help from roof repair experts such as D’Angelo Roofing if you don’t understand or cannot fix the problem.
3. Clean your gutters regularly
Routine gutter cleaning increases the lifespan of your gutter while still ensuring your home’s exterior looks good for a long time. Over time, debris and leaves may accumulate over your roof and clog or block your gutter system, leading to overflow or water damage.
Inspect and clean your gutters every six months, preferably before the winter months and during the fall. However, there are instances where you may need to do cleaning more often. For instance, if you live in an area that receives heavy rainfall, you should clean more regularly since your gutters are more prone to clogging. In addition, ensure you clean your gutters more often if your home is in an area with many trees.
4. Inspect your gutters for holes, leaks, and rust
Inspect your gutters for rust and leakage, and check the gutter joints for corrosion. If you notice a hole in your gutters, begin by cutting a piece of sheet metal to fit over the hole and then spread roofing cement around its edges. Gently bend the sheet metal and press it into roofing cement. Cover the patch with more cement and allow it to dry.
If you notice rust, it means your gutters have reached the end of their lifespan, and it could be time to replace them. Consider switching to aluminum, vinyl, or copper gutters, since they don’t rust. In addition, don’t forget to check for leaks in your gutter system using a hose and water. Getting ahead of the weather can save you time and money in the long run, so be sure to put off work.
5. Install gutter guards
You may need to consider installing a gutter guard if your home is in an area where leaves and debris easily fall into your guttering system. A gutter guard is a steel mesh caging that is installed over your gutters to help block away branches, leaves, and twigs from getting into the guttering system, which may lead to clogging. It also prevents critters, birds, and insects from creating a home in your gutters. A guard gutter leaves your waterways open, allowing for proper water flow and easy cleaning.
Gutter maintenance and repair are among the most overlooked home projects, but it helps keep your gutters functional and enhance the look of your house’s exterior. Without proper care, your gutters can clog, separate from the roof system, or even rust, leading to damage that can spread rapidly through the home’s structure. Follow these tips to help keep your gutters clean and in good condition to protect your home and family.