Five Tips for Maintaining Rain Gutters
Your rain gutters are an essential part of your home’s roofing system. They funnel rain and stormwater from your roof away from your home and its foundation. Missing, cracked, broken or clogged gutters can lead to water damage down the exterior walls of your home, and excessive amounts of water dripping or cascading over your gutters can damage the foundation and/or leak into your crawlspace. To avoid these problems, it’s best to inspect and maintain your gutters regularly.
1. Regularly Clean Out Your Gutters
Homeowners should regularly clean their gutters every few months to ensure rainwater can flow freely. Effectively cleaning your gutters means getting on a ladder and using a gutter trowel to scoop the leaves and debris out of the gutters. Once all the debris is out, use a hose to flush the gutters and test water flow. If you do not feel comfortable getting on a ladder to clean your gutters, there are many companies that offer gutter cleaning services.
2. Inspect Your Downspouts for Clogs
In addition to cleaning your gutters, you should inspect your downspouts for clogs. When your downspouts are clogged with leaves, dirt and other debris, the water has no place to go, which results in water backing-up and spilling over the sides during rainstorms. If you can’t see into your downspouts, you can use a garden hose with a pressure nozzle to test the flow and clear out any clogs.
3. Perform Needed Maintenance
Regularly walk around your home and visually inspect your gutters. Do you see any signs of rust or corrosion? Are your gutters dropping? Do you see any cracks? If you see small cracks, holes or gaps, you may be able to seal the leaks with gutter seal. If the damage appears to be extensive, or if your gutters are falling away from your home, you may have to call a gutter repair company to add gutter brackets and replace severely damaged sections.
4. Install Gutter Guards to Protect Your Gutters from Debris
Gutters guards can help minimize the need to clean your gutters. These devices fit over or inside your gutters and are designed to prevent leaves, twigs and other items from falling into your gutters. With gutter guards installed, all you have to do is brush the leaves and debris off the guards. There is no need to scoop and rinse the inside of the gutter.
5. Consider Installing Downspout Extensions
Many downspouts only contain splash blocks, which catch and funnel the water a couple of feet from your home. These devices can be displaced by heavy flows of water, which means if you do not regularly check your splash blocks and reposition them, water could pool around your foundation and/or enter your crawlspace. Instead of using the standard splash block, consider installing downspout extensions. These are flexible tubes that can be attached to your existing downspouts and placed so that the water flows away from your home and its foundation.