Fall Gutter Maintenance
You’ve heard it before, it’s time to gutter done! With all the fall leaves beginning to tumble, it’s no surprise that it’s also time for a thorough gutter cleanup. Your gutters do a lot in keeping water away from your home and preventing water damage. If not taken care of properly, big and expensive problems can occur. Gutter maintenance may take some time, but it is always a home project that is worth it.
START WITH CLEANING
The main purpose of a gutter is to move water away from the home. Clogs and leaks can cause poor drainage. Poor drainage can lead to foundation, sidewalk, or driveway damage from soil erosion. Gutters should be cleaned, inspected, and repaired twice a year to prevent these types of damages.
When cleaning and repairing gutters, remember to put safety first. Use a sturdy ladder placed firmly and level on the ground. Use thick work gloves for protection from sharp screws and metal parts.
Twigs, dirt, and leaves can easily pile up putting a lot of strain on fasteners and spikes. Clean gutters by first scooping out loose debris. Then, blast gutters with a high-powered hose. Scrub out any extra dirt or grime and be sure all downspouts are clear of clogs and aligned properly. If there appears to be an obstruction, use a hose first and if that doesn’t work, a plumber’s auger should do the trick.
Gutter repair can be a fairly simple task. Start by checking for leaks, holes, and loose gutter spikes. Spikes often come out of their holes due to wear and tear over the years. New spikes should be purchased and installed, allowing you to have secure gutters once again. Joints and seams should be checked for leaks. If repairs are necessary, clean the area thoroughly and apply silicone caulk for a seal.
If rips, tears, or other major damage is present, you may have to consider replacing old gutters for new ones. It is a relatively inexpensive home repair and will be well worth it to ensure your home is safe from possible structural damages due to water damage.
ADDITIONS MAY BE NEEDED
Downspouts should also be checked carefully for proper drainage. Clear all clogs and make repairs as needed.
It is important to then check that water is being diverted away from the home by at least 4-5 feet. Poor drainage can lead to soil erosion causing possible foundation, sidewalk, or driveway damage. Extra water landing at the base of your home can also mean flooding in basements and crawl spaces. Water in these places can quickly develop into a bigger problem like mold. Pooled water from clogs can also be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The last thing you want is itchy-bites and the possibility of diseases that these bugs can carry.
Be sure that water is draining far enough away from your home. Add an extension or splash block if needed to divert water further away from your home.
Keeping gutters maintained is an important step in water damage prevention. The work they do for our homes is often forgotten, but important.
Related Blog Posts: