Spring is the perfect time of year to perform important maintenance on your gutters. The long harsh winter can take a toll on your gutters, leaving them susceptible to problems such as clogs, leaks, and even damage to your roof. Follow these tips for spring gutter maintenance and work towards maintaining good gutter health all year long.
Common Gutter Problems and Solutions:
- Clean Your Gutters Regularly
Cleaning your gutters thoroughly is the first and most crucial step in gutter maintenance. Remove any leaves, twigs, or other junk that may have gathered throughout the winter. Use a gutter scoop or a small trowel to remove any stubborn debris. Ideally, you should clean them at least twice a year - once in the spring and once in the fall.
- Check For Leaks
Leaks are another common gutter problem. Water leaking or pooling near your home is a surefire sign of a problem and should be addressed immediately to avoid causing damage to the foundation. You can fix leaks by caulking or applying sealant to the troublesome area. However, if the leak is significant, you may need to replace that portion of the gutter.
- Rusty Gutter Spots
Due to environmental factors, gutters may also develop little rust stains. Fortunately, they can be fixed very easily by scraping the rust from gutters completely using a wire brush. Then, with a putty knife, apply a thin coat of roofing cement.
- Detached Gutters or Downspouts
As gutters pull away or separate, water may start to flow down the outside of your house and towards the foundation, which could result in leaks and other problems. To avoid this from occurring, make a pilot hole, secure the gutter or downspout using U-shaped brackets and short sheet metal screws, and then re-fasten the gutter. This should secure the gutter in place and stop detachment from happening again in the future.
- Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guard installation is one method of preventing blockage and lowering the frequency of gutter cleaning. These gutter guards go over your gutters, reducing the amount of debris that enters your gutters, minimizing clogs and lessening the frequency of gutter cleaning.
- Cut Overhanging Tree Branches
If there are any trees close to your home, be sure to trim any overhanging branches back so they are a safe distance from your home. During storms these branches can detach causing debris to enter your gutters, or worse, causing major damage by falling on your gutters or roof.
Tips for Spring Season Gutter Maintenance:
- Inspect Gutters for Damage
Look for any signs of damage, such as holes, cracks, or loose connections. Ensure sure there are no leaves or debris in the gutters. To perform a more thorough evaluation, consider scheduling a 4-Point Inspection. During a 4-Point Inspection, your WIN Home Inspection will carefully inspect your roof along with your HVAC, electrical panels and foundation while providing a roadmap for maintenance or repairs.
- Check for Blockages
The most common gutter-related issue for any homeowner is dirty gutters caused by blockages. When leaves and debris gather, they can obstruct gutters, preventing water from draining away from a home. If obstructions are not removed, they might cause foundation issues, water damage, and other issues. It is recommended to swiftly remove any gutter clogs to prevent further harm.
- Repair and Replace Damaged Components
If you notice any issues yourself or issues are uncovered during a home inspection, it’s important to make the repairs immediately. While gutters may seem like a minor component, they are integral to the structure of your home. Damaged gutters can directly lead to issues with your roof or foundation, both of which can be expensive projects to undertake. Addressing gutter issues immediately can help you avoid roof and foundation damage, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.
- Schedule Regular Maintenance
To ensure that your gutters stay in proper condition year-round, make sure you are performing regular maintenance and keeping up with cleanings. However, if you do not feel comfortable going up on your roof, we recommend calling in a professional. Your local WIN Home Inspector would be more than happy to assist you by examining your gutters.
Regular gutter maintenance is important for the safety and longevity of your home. By following these tips for spring gutter maintenance, you can solve common problems and keep your gutters in top condition all year round. With a little bit of effort and regular maintenance, you can protect your home from water damage and other problems that could be costly in the future.