Fall is a spectacular season filled with pumpkins, crisp weather, and beautifully colored leaves! While it is a wonderful season, it should be used as a time of preparation for Winter. People often get their HVAC systems maintained in the Fall, but it is not very often that people worry about the health of their gutter until it’s too late.
Why Should You Maintain Your Gutters?
Gutters are the sole protectors of your home from the precipitation that drains from your roof- a home without gutters may suffer damage to its foundations, walls, landscaping, and interior, and a home with clogged gutters experiences these risks as well. For gutters to work properly, they must be cleaned when clogs occur and maintained to discourage clogging.
Maintenance is a must in preventing clogs from occurring as well. Clogs occur when leaves and other debris get stuck in the gutters and form a solid, impermeable mass. Clogs can cause standing water which may cause wooden pieces of your roofing to rot- they can also weigh down gutters and cause them to separate or break off of your house completely. In the winter, clogs can freeze and warp gutters.
Gutter damage can be costly and may end up requiring that you install new ones. This is a lot more trouble and expense than simply cleaning your gutters, and maintaining them regularly especially during high-debris seasons like Fall.
Winter is Coming
Fall is the precursor to Winter, and as such is a season that is often used to prepare for the cold. Winter in many places consists of ice, snow, wind, and temperatures that sit at or below the freezing point of water- this is when clogged gutters become especially dangerous.
It is nearly impossible to perform any sort of maintenance on gutters during the Winter as any debris stuck in them is solidified and frozen solid. Make sure to begin checking your gutters for clogs in early Fall, and continue checking and cleaning as necessary throughout the season to ensure your gutters are in top shape for performing well in Winter.
How to Maintain Gutters
Gutter maintenance is not as difficult as it sounds, and for the average homeowner, it usually takes less than a day of work! The most important thing to note when maintaining your gutters is safety- make sure you have access to a sturdy ladder, gloves, and safety glasses before you begin cleaning. If you don’t feel safe cleaning your own gutters, you should contact a professional gutter cleaning service near you.
If you choose to clean your own gutters, it’s a good idea to purchase a gutter scoop from your local hardware store. Gutter scoops are long and thin enough to effectively remove leaves and other debris. Work your way along the gutters ensuring your ladder is not leaned against any weak or broken gutters.
After cleaning the clogs from your gutters, it is a good idea to check your downspouts and diverters to ensure that they are working properly. Once your gutters are free of large debris, run water through the system- this will clear much of the small, hard-to-reach debris from them. It also allows you the opportunity to check for minor leaks which may be repaired with sealant.
If there are major leaks in your gutters, or they are damaged in other ways, it may be a good idea to consult a professional in your area to better understand your options for gutter repair or replacement.
Gutters are an incredibly simple and effective way to protect your home from the damage that standing rainwater can cause, but gutters need some protection too in the form of maintenance by you or a professional. Gutters are a great investment that can last up to 30 years if maintained properly, so make sure to check up on them and clean them to keep your home happy and healthy!