Keeping your home’s gutters in good condition is the best way to lessen the cost of home ownership. The reason behind it is that congested gutters may cause leaks that may damage your appliances and furniture. Even worse, they can damage your home’s foundation and walls.
Clogged or overflowing gutters cause water to fall along your property’s foundation, which can erode the soil underneath and around your home. Soil erosion can result in cracks in your foundation and may lead to structural failure in the worst-case scenario.
Whether you have the traditional gutters made of plastic and cast iron or other materials, it’s easy to keep your gutters in good shape. All you have to do is to keep these following tips in mind:
1. Let Professionals Secure Your Gutters
Your gutters can be detached or become loose over time. This may expose your foundation and siding to water damage. Several DIYers can secure their gutters using basic tools. However, securing this can be risky and dangerous, particularly when you’re on a ladder.
So, if you have detached or loose gutters, it’s recommended to call for professional help and let experts do the job for you.
2. Consider Installing Gutter Guards
Another tip to keep your gutters in good condition is to invest in gutter guards, which can be helpful in preventing the buildup of debris in the gutters. You can find various gutter guards in many stores locally or online.
The best thing about gutter guards is that they’re easy to install. Typically, they’re made with a good quality wire mesh cover to prevent the debris from entering your gutters. However, it’s important to note that you still have to clean out such covers regularly.
3. Clean Your Gutters Regularly
Cleaning your gutters is a straightforward process. You only need some materials such as a hose, utility gloves, ladder, trowel, tarp, and other things you might find useful when cleaning the gutters.
To ensure that your gutters are effectively cleaned, set up your ladder properly and use a trowel to scoop the debris and leaves out of your gutters. Once you get rid of the debris, use a hose for flushing the gutters and test the water flow. If you’re comfortable getting on the ladder to eliminate the debris, you can always avail of professional gutter cleaning services.
4. Repair Any Clogged Downspouts
Clogged downspouts are a big problem. Luckily, there are some steps you can do to avoid clogs, and these include the following:
- First and foremost, check your downspout’s bottom part and get rid of any blockages.
- Second, try using a ladder to find your downspout’s opening and use the hose to test if it has a clog. If the water exits the downspout, it means that there’s no clog. But if it pools to the top, you have a clog and must take the next steps.
- Knock the side of your downspout gently as you go down to knock the clogs loose. After that, run the water from the top to know if it’s still clogged.
If you’ve done the basic steps above but still your downspout is clogged, you may consider using a power tool like a dry vacuum or leaf blower to blow the clog out. Just be extra careful when you do this and have someone who can hold the ladder for you.
5. Seal Any Gutter Leaks
After you’re done with gutter cleaning, look for any leaks or small holes. If there are some, you might want to seal them using a caulking compound. Use a putty knife or a butter knife to spread the compound evenly on the leaks or holes.
6. Check For Warps
Bends or warps in the gutters can prevent the water from flowing down freely. Therefore, make sure to do an inspection around your house and check for any signs of deformed or misaligned sections. Depending on how serious the damage is, warps can be hammered to its normal shape or replace your gutters instead.
7. Prevent Ice From Forming
Before winter season, make sure to clean your gutters to avoid ice from forming. Any remaining debris that prevents the gutters from draining properly may result in frozen water that could expand into your roof’s edges.
When ice becomes lodged into the cracks between shingles and around your roof, the temperature difference that radiates from within your house can cause the ice to melt inside your roof.
Once ignored, it causes roof leaks and structural damage. Moreover, the expanding of water once it’s formed into ice can cause the gutters to crack.
Gutters are a crucial part of the roofing system of your property. They funnel storm water and rain away from your house and its foundation. Cracked, missing, clogged or broken gutters can result in water damage down your home’s exterior walls and excessive amounts of water dripping over your gutters may damage the foundation and leak into your crawlspace. If you want to avoid such problems, it’s best to take note of the above tips to keep your gutters in good condition.