Gutter Maintenance for your Home
The north winds are blowing colder and fiercer, now that the fall season will soon enough be transitioning into that dreaded Old Man Winter. Regarding home maintenance, there are some things you’re likely to take care of right away, no matter the season – a shorted fuse, a clogged drain, or a broken appliance. Then there are the things you’re more than likely to gloss over. One of these things is your gutters. When was the last time you checked them out or had them cleaned? If the answer is more than six months, you may want to keep reading on.
It still is not too late to take care of such an important issue that ultimately will impact on the value and structural integrity of your home. This vital issue of home maintenance cannot be overly stressed. At this time of year, around the Thanksgiving Season, the leaves and associated debris will already have clogged up parts of your gutters, and it’s also time to consider making sure that they are completely cleared and cleaned, as your gutters can fill up quickly! Keeping the gutters unobstructed can effectively help you avoid serious problems down the line. Standing water prevented from flowing down the downspout will freeze once it gets cold enough, and will damage your roof or other areas of the home. Additionally, if you live in a climate with regular, freezing temperatures, pooled water in your gutters and around your foundation can freeze and contract, thereby causing large cracks, and fissures-which inevitably, will result in structural damage.
Clean Periodically Whether you live in a rural or urban environment, and taking into consideration the number of trees around your house-these are factors that determine how often you will verify the condition of your gutters. The buildup of leaves and debris, and the obstructions this can create, can also add extra weight to your gutters, causing them to sag or partially detach from the roof, thereby rendering their function ineffective. Water may seep into your basement as well as the foundation, resulting in potential structural problems. Damp basements are good breeding grounds for mold as well. If plants have ample time to germinate in the gutter debris, they can further hinder cleaning efforts, but for the most part, keeping gutters clean is an easy task if you make at least a yearly commitment to do so.
What you Need The supplies are quite basic: a strong stable ladder, a pair of strong yet flexible gloves, yard waste bags, a water hose, and lastly, if not to begin with-the willpower to get the job done! To start, prop the ladder against the furthest point of your roof and begin clearing out the gutter and dropping the debris into the yard waste bags. Continue along the roof line until the entire gutter line is clear. Rinse with the water hose for good measure, to make sure that there are no additional blockages in the downspouts. If you do perchance find clogs of debris in a spout, an ordinary plumbing snake can clear it, and they are available at any hardware store.
Let the Professional Take Care of it If you are not up to the task, and you find the challenge too daunting, then you can rely on a competent handyman or a roofer to do the job properly. Don’t put it off-schedule your gutter cleaning today! Many folks take the importance of keeping your gutters clean-for granted, and don’t bother to pay attention to them until something goes wrong. But as your main outdoor drainage system, gutters play a critical part in protecting your home from water damage. When kept clean, gutters do a great job of directing water away from your house. When they get clogged, however, the built-up moisture can end up costing you thousands in home repairs. When it can’t drain properly, the dammed-up water in your gutters will end up pooling and dripping anywhere it can. Water dripping down the side of the house can ruin your siding and paint. Once it gets inside the walls, it can cause dangerous rot and mold problems. Clogged gutters have also been known to cause basement flooding. When water has nowhere else to go, it goes down; in this case, straight down to your home’s foundation, where it will cause the problems cited previously, as well as adding to future expenses on home repairs. Find a reputable roofer or handyman to do the job, and you’ll be free of worrying about much costlier work down the way. When it comes to keeping your gutters clean, the old adage certainly rings true: an ounce of prevention, anyone?
Whether you require cleaning, repairing or new gutters, be sure to contact one of our many Consumers’ Choice Award professionals!