Clogged and sagging gutters can cause damage to your roof if not repaired on time. You will often find leaves, debris, and dirt buildup in your gutter, preventing water drainage and forcing them to sag. They can also lead to severe damages like cracked wall foundations, moisture damage, and basement leaks. The best time to schedule gutter cleaning is after the fall and spring seasons. Here are some tips on how to properly maintain your gutter:
Start With Safety
You do not need to get on top of your roof to clean the gutters. Get a firm ladder that can properly support your weight. Make sure that you have put on non-slip shoes to avoid accidents. Wear safety goggles because once you start disturbing the debris, some will be blown to your eyes. If you are sensitive to pollen, dust or allergies, put on a face mask. You will also need gloves to protect your hands. Check the weather for a calm day to do the job or hire a professional to clean for you.
Clean The Roof Too
You will most of the time find that the debris and dirt in your gutter have been washed from the roof when it rains. If your roof is slippery, or you live in a multi-story home, hire professional roofing contractors to do the job for you. You can watch them clean and learn for next time when you decide to DIY.
Inspect Damages & Repair Them
Once you have cleaned your gutters, inspect them for any damages like leaks, rust, and holes. You can easily spot leaks at gutter joints where the edges have been welded together. There are several ways of fixing a gutter, but the most common one is using a sealant easily found at your local hardware store. If your gutter has detached from the house siding or roof, reattach it before further damage. Sometimes you may find that the gutter is dilapidated and worn out, in which case consider replacing it.
Don’t Forget The Downspouts
As you clean the gutter, you also need to clean the downspouts. All the debris and dirt washed from the roof are carried by the gutters and drained into the downspouts. Inspect them for leaks, rust, and holes or corroded joints just like the gutters. Repair all damages and if they are old and worn out, consider replacing them. If the runoff pool at the base of the downspout is too close to walkways or your foundation, now would be a good time to install downspouts extenders.
Install Gutter Guards
Install gutter guards to minimize the need to clean the gutters. It is installed either inside or over the gutter and prevents leaves or twigs from getting inside. You will only need to brush the debris off the guards when cleaning. You can also get a company like Hello Gutters to install the guards for you if you are unsure how to do the job.
There are common gutter problems that you will encounter from time to time. However, if you maintain your gutter well, it will last you a long time, and you also get to enjoy gutters that are working efficiently.