Your gutters are the unsung hero of home protection. They play a key role in the function of your roof and exteriors and also help keep your home looking its best too. Don’t ignore or forget your gutters– here’s what you should know about them from maintenance to repairs, to replacement.
Why do I Need Gutters?
The main purpose of gutters is water management–to prevent mold, mildew, and other types of water damage to your home. Gutters are placed strategically around your home in such a way that they direct rainwater away from your house’s foundation. Without gutters, water would stream down the siding and outer walls and pool up in your attic or basement– and nobody wants that for their house.
Should I know About Maintenance for my Gutters?
From leaves to sticks and branches, to the winter’s heavy snow and ice, it’s important to keep your gutters clear, no matter the time of year. If you have big beautiful trees on your property, you should take extra care to clean your home’s gutters. Leaves, pine needles, and fallen branches can keep your gutters from doing their job. On the other hand, birds and hornets may also like to build their nests in your gutters.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep your gutters clear of debris:
- Wash or blow out all debris with a hose or leaf blower– just make sure to take protective measures like goggles and gloves in case sticks and dirt blow back at you.
- Purchase a rain gutter scoop. Designed specifically for clearing out gutters, you can’t go wrong with buying one of these. Make sure you buy a plastic one, though, because a metal scoop may scratch or damage your metal gutters.
- Teamwork makes the dream work! Grab a friend, family member, or hire someone to help you clean your gutters. Having two people on the job will help it go smoothly, safely, and efficiently.
- To ensure that your gutter cleaning goes well, make sure you have these essentials at your disposal: a sturdy four-leg ladder, eye protection (think safety goggles or even just sunglasses), and gardening gloves for hand protection.
3 Signs Your Gutters Need Repair
- Cracks: individual cracks can be easily repaired, but more extensive cracking means the whole gutter should be replaced. If you have trouble identifying singular cracks, running your hose water down the gutter can help you see precisely where leaks may be happening.
- Loose seams: With traditional gutters, it is common to need repairs at the seams of the gutter, where the joints can come loose because of water, wind, and general wear and tear. Some homeowners bypass this issue altogether by investing in seamless gutters. Another method of keeping your gutters sturdy is to install fascia brackets, which attach to the eaves and support the gutters from underneath.
- Poor pitch and position: water pooling and overflow can be a sign of badly pitched or placed gutters, whether they were installed that way or shifted because of the wind and weather. Gutter pitch and position are straightforward repairs that can make a big difference in overall functionality
3 Signs Your Gutters Need Replacing
- Rust: Older gutters tend to get rusty, and rusty gutters mean weaker gutters. Rust can cause old gutters to collapse, so when you start seeing signs of rust, it may be time to start shopping for gutter replacements.
- Leaks and extensive cracking: Cracks and leaks in your gutters can cause structural damage in your home, so it’s important to address these issues early on. If you notice leaks in your attic or ceilings this can also be a sign of faulty gutters or a weak roof.
- Sagginess: Saggy gutters are a result of heavy snow or rainfall. Saggy gutters are weak gutters and should be replaced. If your area is known for heavy rainy and snowy seasons, it’s a good idea to preemptively schedule a gutter inspection beforehand so your home and gutter system is sturdy and set to go.
While gutters may seem like only a small part of your home, it’s important to not let them get sidelined! Their job– channeling and diverting water from your home is one of the most important when it comes to protecting your home.