How often do you think about your gutters?
If your answer is “never,” we understand. After all, you’ve got a lot going on in your life. It’s hard to add your gutter system to the to-do list. However, neglecting your gutters can have serious consequences for your roof system and the entire exterior of your home.
Today, we’ll be discussing gutter maintenance and why it is important. We’ll talk you through:
- How to clean clogged gutters
- How to extend the life of your gutter system
- When to call a professional
If you’re ready to become a gutter maintenance expert, keep reading!
Why Are Gutters Important?
We know what you are thinking. “Is it really that serious?”
The answer is yes! Your gutters are an integral part of your roofing system. Gutters are designed to divert water away from your roof and your home’s exterior. This allows you to avoid dealing with the negative effects of water damage.
Gutters can become non-functional when:
- They are clogged with debris, such as leaves
- They are clogged with ice
- They have cracks and holes
All of these things can put your home at higher risk of water damage. Water pooling on your roof can lead to leaks inside your house. Not only can leaks damage the overall aesthetic of your home, but they can also damage your flooring and foundation. Additionally, untreated leaks can become a fire hazard when the water mixes with your electrical wiring.
7 Gutter Maintenance Tips
The best way to keep your gutters functioning and protect your roof is to develop a proper maintenance routine. If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Follow these seven gutter maintenance tips to extend the life of your gutters and prevent roof damage.
1) Keep Gutters Clean
Perhaps it sounds obvious, but we couldn’t start this list without acknowledging the fact that the most important step in gutter maintenance is gutter cleaning!
Clogged gutters are the #1 source of gutter problems. In general, we recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year. Ideally, your would clean them at the end of fall, after all of the leaves have fallen, and at the beginning of spring.
Cleaning gutters is a relatively simple task, but it does require some mobility. Any home task that requires you to be on a tall ladder or on your roof comes with some risk, so be sure that you are comfortable before climbing up there.
You can clean your gutters by removing the debris in them by hand or with a small shovel. You can either place the debris into a bucket or lay out a ground level tarp that you can dump it onto. After thoroughly cleaning your gutters, we recommend rinsing them with a garden hose.
2) Invest in Gutter Guards
Many people go their whole lives without installing gutter guards. While that’s certainly a viable option, we’ll let you in on a secret: you are actually creating more work for yourself!
Gutter guards are porous shields that are placed over your gutters and prevent leaves, twigs, and dirt from building up in your rain gutters and creating clogs. Gutter guards can be purchased in a variety of styles, ranging from affordable plastic mesh guards to more permanent and reliable systems such as LeafGuard.
Depending on the style you choose, you may be able to install gutter guards on your own, but we always recommend consulting with a professional for the best results.
3) Remove Ice
If you live in a cold climate, you know that ice buildup in your gutters can lead to ice dams and all sorts of inconvenient winter roofing problems. As soon as you notice ice forming, we recommend doing your best to remove it. But don’t go in with a hammer and chisel right away! That is a surefire way to damage your gutters. Instead, we recommend pouring hot water over the affected area until the ice is fully melted.
4) Remove Debris From Roof
Your gutters aren’t the only place where debris can build up. Your roof can also collect leaves and other debris that prevent your gutter system from working properly. Taking the time to make sure that your roof is clear will save you a big headache further down the road.
5) Keep an Eye Out for Damaged Gutters
One of the best ways to avoid dealing with gutter problems in the future is to be proactive! Regular inspections of your gutter system can help you spot problems such as rust or holes. By identifying the issues, you’ll be able to act accordingly and get a repair from a gutter pro before it damages the rest of your home.
6) Don’t Forget Downspouts
Many people remember to take care of the gutters along the roof’s edge but forget to maintain their downspouts! If your downspout is clogged, your gutter system will not be able to divert water away from your home. Make sure to regularly check your downspout for any clogs or signs of damage.
7) Watch for Pests
Your gutters may not seem like a cozy place to you, but for your local critters? It can be the perfect place to hide away in the night. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for signs of pests that may be using your gutters and downspouts as a free AirBnB!
Get a Professional Consultation for Your Gutters
Looking to get your gutters cleaned? Or perhaps you are interested in a new gutter installation. Whatever your needs are, the team at Northface Construction can help. Our highly qualified team of home exterior experts can help you assess your property and come up with gutter solutions that work for you and your budget. Contact us today for a free quote on your gutter maintenance project.