The gutters play an essential role in the roofing system of your house. They’re responsible for directing water from the roof away from your home and its foundations.
If the gutters show signs of damage or are missing a section, it can result in water damage on your house's external walls.
If there’s excessive water cascading over the gutters, it can damage the foundation or even leak into the crawlspace.
You can maintain your gutters to lessen any costs of repairs or replacement. In most cases, you should clean your gutters, at least, twice a year – during the spring and fall.
If you have several trees in your yard, you need to clean your gutters more frequently.
Let’s check out the essential tips when maintaining your gutters:
Perform The Necessary Maintenance
As part of maintenance, you should regularly walk around your house to visually assess the gutters. Check for signs of corrosion, cracks, holes, or dropping gutters.
For minor issues such as small leaks or gaps, you can seal them using a gutter seal.
In case the damage seems extensive, or the gutters are falling away from your house, it might be best to contact a professional to tackle the repairs.
To learn more about the different types of guttering hardware, click here.
As a homeowner, you’re responsible for cleaning the gutters to ensure that the water flows freely. The task is a straightforward process, and you need the following materials:
- A ladder tall enough to reach the gutters
- A hose
- Utility gloves
- Plastic scoop and tarp (optional)
Start by putting on your utility gloves and set up the ladder. Double-check your ladder to ensure that it’s stable before climbing.
If possible, request someone to hold the ladder while you climb. If you have a tarp available, spread it on the ground to gather any debris you will remove from the gutters.
If not, you can toss the debris on the ground and sweep later.
As you reach into the gutters, you can either remove the debris by hand or with a plastic scoop. Avoid stretching to grab the debris.
In case you cannot reach the waste without stretching, climb down, and reposition your ladder. After removing all the debris, use the hose to flush out any leftover debris out of the gutters and downspouts.
Test For Leaks
After cleaning, you should check the gutters for any leaks. You can do this by flushing the gutters with running water.
The water should freely flow into the downspout and away from the house. If there’s a leak, there’d be an interruption in the water stream.
In such cases, look for a spout of water tumbling towards the ground. Most of these leaks occur at the elbow.
It’s a standalone feature that allows water to turn a corner around the house. If it’s the culprit, you can replace it.
Inspect For Blockages
After thoroughly cleaning the gutters, you should also inspect the downspouts for any clogs or blockages.
When the downspouts have an obstruction such as dirt, leaves, or other debris, water cannot pass through.
Due to the jam, the water will back up and spill over the sides during rainstorms.
In case you cannot see into your downspouts, use a hose with a pressure nozzle to test the flow and clear out any blockages.
Install Downspout Extensions
The majority of downspouts typically include splash blocks. The splash blocks work by catching and directing the water a few feet away from your house.
Take note that heavy surges of water can displace these devices. If you don’t check the splash blocks regularly and reposition them, the water might accumulate around your foundation or even enter the crawlspace.
An alternative to the standard splash block is a downspout extension. It’s a flexible tube that you can attach to the existing downspouts.
The downspout extensions will direct the water away from your house and its foundation.
Replace Damaged Gutters
As you inspect your gutters, you might encounter sections of the gutters or downspouts that show signs of extensive damage.
If you cannot repair the damage completely, you can replace the damaged area as a temporary fix. Make sure to call in a professional to perform the appropriate repairs.
Install Gutter Guards
One way to keep the gutters in your house clean is to install gutter guards. Generally, these devices fit over or inside the gutters.
The gutter guards work by preventing leaves, twigs, and other debris from moving inside the gutters.
After installing the gutter guards, brush the debris off the guards. You no longer need to scoop and flush the interior of the gutters.
The gutters of your house require regular maintenance to function effectively throughout the years.
Any issues with the gutters require timely action to avoid costly repairs. With these essential tips in maintaining your gutters, you can keep them in good shape for years to come.