The gutters on your home play a key role in protecting your property, helping to minimize the risk of water damage. Since they are up high out of your line of sight, it is easy to forget about them. Just like any other part of your home, however, your gutters need to be properly maintained. The gutter cleaning and maintenance tips below should help you take good care of your gutters so that they continue to provide your home with the protection that it needs.
1. Clean your gutters at least twice a year.
Over time, leaves, twigs, dirt, and debris can build up in your gutters, keeping the water from properly draining. When your gutters are blocked, water can spill over the edges, getting up under the eaves of your house and running down directly next to your foundation. This can not only cause water damage to the structure of your home but can also increase the likelihood of flooding in your basement.
Most experts recommend cleaning your gutters in the fall and again in the spring. If you are comfortable using a ladder, you may be able to clean them on your own. Just make sure to follow proper ladder safety protocols to avoid any accidents or injuries. If you have balance issues or are unable to use a ladder safely, consider hiring an outside roofing company to clean them for you. Professional gutter cleaning is usually quite affordable – especially when you consider that it can keep you safe.
When cleaning the gutters, wear thick, waterproof gloves. Find a small shovel or trowel that is the same width as the gutters. Use the shovel to scoop any debris out, dumping it into a bucket to dispose of later.
Once the bulk of the debris has been removed, you can use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to blast out any remaining dirt or debris. Start at one end of the gutter and work your way toward the other, moving the dirt down the gutter with the stream of water as you go.
Finish by checking the downspouts at each end of the gutter to make sure the water is draining freely. Clogs frequently happen in these areas. If the downspout is blocked, you may need to remove it to loosen up and remove the debris.
2. Fix sagging gutters.
Take a look at your gutters from the street. Are they perfectly straight or are there areas where they are sagging? If your gutters sag in the middle, it can make it much harder for the water to drain. Again, this can lead to problems with water damage or flooding. If you spot any areas that are sagging, use gutters screws to stabilize and secure those sections so that the water can drain freely.
3. Address any drainage issues.
Spray water into the gutter and watch how it drains out of the downspout. Is it draining freely? Does it pool near your home? Are there any obstacles that prevent it from moving away from your house? If necessary, add an extension to your downspout to move the water further away from your home. Splash blocks or pipes may also be used to redirect the flow of water.
Gutter cleaning and maintenance is an important part of caring for your home. By following these tips, you can keep your gutters free from debris, ensuring that any water that runs off of your roof can safely drain away from your house. Keeping your gutters in good shape is the best way to avoid any water damage to the structure of your home. It also can help prevent flooding in your basement.