Moisture damage is the biggest threat to a home. Rain and snow are two causes of moisture that often account for considerable damage to a home. Gutters protect homes from moisture damage, diverting water away from the roof and the foundation, the two important components on homes. However, gutters need maintenance every season, especially during the fall. Sticks, dirt, leaves, and even wildlife clog gutters. If it isn’t removed, it can restrict the flow of water. This puts the home at risk of damage and the potential need for gutter replacement. Fall gutter maintenance is especially important because winter is around the corner. Snow is a major threat during the winter in Winston-Salem, but the cold morning frosts and dew also cause damage to an unprotected roof or gutter system. The following gutter maintenance tips help you maintain your gutters and avoid the need for gutter replacement.
Before You Get Started
Consider using professional contractors to clean the gutters. The job is dangerous and can result in injuries if you’re not careful. Additionally, you need several tools and pieces of equipment on top of skills in this area of home improvement. Keep the following tips in mind if you plan on a DIY job so you can better protect yourself from these dangers.
- A ladder is an essential piece of equipment needed to clean gutters. Without a ladder, reaching the gutters is not so easy. Don’t use an old, worn-out ladder and put yourself at risk. A quality, durable ladder keeps you safe as you clean the gutters.
- Use a 4-legged ladder for a single-story home and extension ladders for larger homes.
- Do not lean on gutters. This includes leaning the ladder on them. They’re not made to have objects leaving on them. This can cause damage!
- Always wear gloves and other PPE when cleaning gutters. You never know what will happen once you reach the top of your house. Wildlife, birds, and other dangers do exist.
- Think safety at all times! Watch your step and put common sense to work to protect yourself from serious injuries.
Fall Gutter Maintenance Checklist
Here’s your guide to fall gutter maintenance. Follow this information to keep your gutters in great condition all year long.
Protect the Gutters With Gutter Guards
Consider installing gutter guards on the gutters. Guards protect gutters from debris such as leaves and sticks. These items clog gutters, which then prevent proper water flow from the unit. Gutter guards require professional installation, but reduce the number of cleanings you need each year and protect the gutter system.
Clean Debris From the Gutters
Until gutter guards protect the gutters, clearing debris out is a part of gutters maintenance. If you don’t clean the gutters, many repercussions may result. The gutters can fall off the roof if there is more weight than they can handle. The gutters may contribute to foundation cracking due to water leaks, cause property flooding, and/or damage the roof. Fall gutter cleaning is very important since cold weather is around the corner. Cold weather can freeze water in the gutters. You then have a big problem on your hands that will likely result in the need for gutter replacement. It is considerably cheaper and far less time-consuming to take care of your gutters now and avoid these costs.
Inspect Your Gutters
After cleaning the gutters, carefully inspect them for any damages. Pay special attention to the seams, since this is where most gutters fail. If you notice damage, repair it quickly. Also, check the hardware to ensure that it’s not coming loose and the anchors to make sure they’re securely fastened to the house and that you don’t notice gaps between the roof and fascia.
Check the Downspouts
Don’t forget to check the downspouts during gutter cleaning. So often homeowners forget the importance of good working downspouts and don’t bother checking them. Make sure you check the downspouts and the diverters to make sure the water is properly disbursed at least 10-ft. from the home at a downward slope.
Fall Gutter Maintenance
Winter is around the corner. That means it’s time to protect your home from the added risks the season brings. Cleaning the gutters every season is important. It prolongs their life expectancy and ensures thorough protection for your home. But, it’s not a secret that during the winter, gutter cleaning and maintenance holds a little more value. Winter does a number to everyone and everything, including your gutters. Take action to protect the gutter system against winter damage now and perform this gutters maintenance task.
Mary Jane Hedrick is the owner of Crossover Roofing, LLC and believes that her customers are entitled to receive exceptional service and superior craftsmanship from the leading roofing, siding, and windows company in the Triad.