With leaves beginning to fall it’s time to start thinking about gutter maintenance. Leaves and other dirt and debris can collect in the gutters of your home, which can cause some serious and costly issues over time. The best way to prolong the life of your gutters and prevent damage is to set a cleaning schedule and stick to it! So when is the best time to perform necessary maintenance to your home’s gutters? It is recommended that you take the time to access the damage, clean and perform necessary maintenance twice a year. Once in the spring and again after the last leaves have fallen between autumn and winter.
Pine trees over your house? Consider cleaning every 3 months.
Potential Damage From Unmaintained Gutters
Undermainted gutters puts your home at unnecessary risk. Water left to pool around your home due to underperforming gutters erodes the soil, surrounding your foundation. Without the added protection of the soil your foundation is exposed to the elements, causing serious and costly damage. Additionally, water collecting at the base of your home increases the likelihood of that water making its way into your basement. Less moisture in your basement can prevent mold and mildew as well as preserve the walls that could be exposed to moisture and fungal growth. A functional irrigation system on your home will also protect driveways, sidewalks, patios and other walkways.
Have Bugs Been Getting You Down? Unmaintained gutters can attract all kinds of pests! Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water for breeding. Removing mosquitoes breeding grounds from your property protects you and your family from itching bites and the potential for illnesses such as West Nile virus.
Removing leaves and debris from your gutters will prevent them from taking on excessive weight, which causes them to pull away from your home. This becomes a danger to the people walking beneath them as well as the roof and siding of your home. Sagging gutters need to be securely fixed to the structure. Try replacing gutter spikes with gutter screws! After you’ve cleared your gutter of all that was lurking inside, consider installing gutter guards. Although Gutter guards are not going to replace your bi-yearly cleanings, they do help prevent larger debris from entering your gutters.
Check for Damage
Keeping your gutters clean and clear is the bulk of the maintenance required, but there are some other things you can do to ensure your gutters are performing as well as they should. Checking your gutters regularly for any damage they may have sustained is a great way to stay on top of repairs, this includes sealing any leaks or holes in the seams and joints. Gutters that are not properly maintained will not efficiently redirect water through your gutter system and away from your home, leading to a plethora of costly repairs.
When checking for holes and leaks, try running water into the gutter using your garden hose!
Downspouts and Beyond
An integral part of your gutter system is the downspout. Clear them of debris and leaves and make sure the joints are fitting together properly. When testing for leaks take notice to the water running through the downspout to ensure that it is running AWAY from your home. Adding a downspout extension, splash blocks and irrigation pipes is the best way to carry the water out and away from the foundation of your home. If you are unsure about any damage or need help with repairs, contact a professional.