Did you know that the roof of your home can be exposed to over 1,900 gallons of water in just a single rainstorm? During those kinds of situations, the best defense that you have from the overflowing of water is not slick shingles or tightly-sealed windows but functioning gutters. It’s because they can keep pooling water from turning into muddy flooded landscapes around your house. Aside from that, when you have a well-maintained gutter system, it can also help lessen the risk for flooding your basements and other interiors while stopping water from affecting the structural integrity of your roof.
At the end of the day, the main purpose of gutters is to direct water away from the house swiftly. Any water that’s coming off the roof should be collected and moved away, to make sure that water goes to the appropriate place and does not cause issues. Therefore, gutter maintenance is very important, aside from taking good care of your house’s roof.
A lot of homeowners may think that their gutters are fine as long as there are no leaves and seasonal debris build-up. Yes, keeping the gutter tracks clear is essential, but there are other aspects you need to consider to keep your gutter functioning well. If you want to know what they are, read on as we’re giving you the best tips for maintaining your gutters.
Clean your gutters regularly.
It is essential for homeowners to clean their gutters every few months to make sure that rainwater can flow freely. It is something that you probably need to do each and every fall, and you need to do it more than once to get the best results. To clean your gutters efficiently, you need to get on a ladder and use a gutter trowel to scoop the leaves and debris out of the gutters. Once you get all the debris out, use a hose to flush the gutters and test the water flow.
However, since gutters are adjacent to the eaves of your rooftop, you should only attempt to clean the gutters if you are living in a one-story home. If you are not comfortable getting on a ladder to clean your gutters, or if they are too high, you can just contact companies that offer gutter cleaning services for your convenience.
Check the downspouts for any clogs and clear them out.
Aside from cleaning the gutters regularly, it is also important to inspect your downspouts for any clogs. It’s because when the downspouts are clogged with dirt, leaves, and other debris, the water will have no place to go, resulting in backing-up and spilling over the sides during a rainstorm. If you are unable to see into your downspouts, you can use a pressurized nozzle on your garden hose to test the flow and then clear out any clogs.
Use gutter guards to keep your gutters protected from debris.
One of the easiest ways to maintain your gutters is by investing in gutter guards. These are tools that can prevent gutters from becoming overloaded with debris. They are usually wire-mesh covers that prevent debris from entering your gutters. They fit over or inside your gutters and are designed to prevent leaves, twigs, and other items from falling inside your gutters. And when you have these installed, you just need to brush the leaves and debris off the guards and no longer need to scoop and rinse the inside of the gutter.
But remember that you still need to have the gutter guards cleaned every other season. If your gutter system is more than two stories off the ground, then asking for professional installation is needed.
Install downspout extensions.
The majority of downspouts only have splash blocks that catch and funnel the water from your home. However, during rainstorms, heavy flows of water can displace these devices. If you do not check them regularly and reposition them, water could pool around the foundation of your house or enter your crawlspace. Therefore, instead of using standard splash blocks, you can also consider installing downspout extensions.
Downspout extensions are flexible tubes that you can attach to your existing downspouts. These will enable the water to flow away from your home and its foundation.
Prevent ice from forming on your gutters.
If you live in the northern part of the United States, cleaning your gutters once more around December is also a good idea. It’s because any debris that stops your gutters from draining water properly could lead to frozen water that might expand into the edges of your roof.
When ice becomes stuck into the cracks around your roof and between shingles, the layer of ice might melt inside your roof and cause roof leaks and serious structural damage over time. Aside from that, the expanding of water when it is formed into ice can cause the gutters to crack and lead to spouts of water pouring straight onto the ground, failing to lead the water away from your house.
Test your gutters for any leaks.
When you hire professionals to clean your gutters, they also often check the system for any leaks. But you can also do this yourself by flushing the gutters with running water after cleaning them. If the downward pitch of the gutter is perfect, this means that debris is not an issue, and water will flow directly into the downspout and away from the house.
However, if there’s a leak, you will notice the stream of water interrupted. With this, you need to look for a spout of water tumbling towards the ground. These leaks are usually on the elbows of the gutters, which help water turn a corner around the house. You can replace them if they are faulty without the need to replace the entire gutter system.
Aside from that, you can also regularly inspect your gutters by walking around your home. Try to see any signs of rust, corrosion, or if there are any cracks. If you see small cracks, holes, or gaps on your gutters, then you can seal them using a gutter seal. But if the damage seems to be extensive, or you notice that your gutters are falling away from your home, calling a gutter repair company might be needed to add gutter brackets and replace the severely damaged sections.
These are some of the best tips we can give when it comes to maintaining your gutters. Gutter maintenance is indeed very important because these protect your house from being flooded with water during rainy days or rainstorms. We hope these tips will help you in keeping your gutters in top shape in the coming years.