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Maintaining Your Gutters

Author: Graeme  Date: 2018-01-14

Gutter maintenance is an essential part of maintaining your home. They need to be free-flowing so they can direct water and snow away from your home’s foundations.  No one wants the dirty job of cleaning the gutters but with a bit of planning, time and effort you can keep unwanted water out of your home.

To save yourself considerable work, install mesh covers or chicken wire over the tops of the gutters and most of the leaves that drop from the trees will simply blow away rather than turning into a nasty mess that has to be dug out of the gutters. You’ll probably still have to flush water through the gutters but that’s a lot easier than scooping out that horrible gunk.

Regular Maintenance

Cleaning the gutters takes a bit of time and effort but it isn’t rocket science. It’s not even necessary to get your own hands dirty, there are professional companies that will do it for you.

Doing it yourself, however, requires a ladder tall enough to reach all of the guttering on your house plus you’ll need a sturdy pair of gloves. You probably ought to use a stand-off ladder so you can avoid damaging the gutters. A tarpaulin or bucket is needed to collect the grunge and if possible have a friend come round to help or at least to hold the ladder and talk to you while you’re doing the job.

As you’re up on the ladder close to the gutter, have a good look at each section for holes, popped rivets or other damage such as corrosion or mildew and reattach anything that may have come loose. Be sure to check the spikes holding the gutters in situ. As necessary refasten, repair or replace them.

Remember to check that the downspouts are free of clogs as well. If downspouts don’t flow freely, they can hold water within them and water may be forced back into the gutters. After time the water will make them sag or the weight of it can pull the gutters completely off the roof.

Run water slowly into the gutters using your garden hose or pressure washer. While cleaning them out, look for leaks by positioning the hose at various places and making sure the water flows through them as it should.

Leaks can happen when holes develop or cracks in the caulking occur or the caulking disappears altogether. If you find any leaks, mark them with a pencil and once everything has dried out, patch the hole/s with a metal patching kit, silicone caulking or roofing cement. If needs be, you might have to replace that section of guttering. A simple way to do that is to put a second section of guttering inside the one attached to the roof and seal with silicone caulking.

When water doesn’t run away as it should, lots of problems can occur. So do your regular maintenance (at least twice a year) of the guttering system and downspouts, making sure everything is working properly. This should ensure your home’s structural integrity is intact and safe from water leaking in, creeping mold, erosion or other water problems.

 

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