Let’s “Gutter” done! Yep, it’s that time of year again when we are out in the yard, getting our homes back in shape after the winter season. Gutters often get forgotten on those to do lists, but they need to be given some TLC a few times a year to ensure they are properly performing their function.
Clean Them Out
- 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.
- It is important to check that water is being diverted away from the home by at least 4-5 feet. Downspouts should be clear of all clogs. 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.
- Check to ensure 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.
Don’t ignore your gutters. They do a lot of hard work in keeping water away from your home. Keeping them maintained is an important step in water damage prevention.
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