When it comes to home maintenance, most lists include a passing reference to gutters. Yet, the focus is often on areas that people consider more important, like roof condition, or sealing up spots where there are air leaks. Unfortunately, paying scant attention to your gutters can create real problems.
For example, clogged gutters can damage the wood of soffits, eaves, fascia, or even the roof itself. The upside is that you can take steps that protect your home gutter system and keep it working smoothly. Keep reading for the key steps.
Cleaning and Minor Repairs
The single most important step you can take to avoid gutter issues is regular cleaning. You can remove most debris in your gutter by hand, just wear some gloves. If you run across some stubborn spot, a firm-bristled brush or wire brush can typically knock them loose.
After that, a quick rinse with a regular garden hose will dislodge and remnant dirt or small debris. A gutter guard can also help keep debris out of your gutter, although you still need to clean the mesh regularly.
For minor leaks in the gutter, you can typically seal the gap with exterior-grade caulk or a rubber sealant.
Get a Gutter Inspection
If you have doubts about your gutter system or just want to keep ahead of future problems, you can get a gutter inspection. An inspection will check the integrity of the gutters themselves. It’ll also look for secure connections between gutters and downspouts.
Inspectors will typically check to ensure that the gutters remain firmly secured to the house. Gutters that are loose can indicate problems with the gutters themselves or with the wood behind them.
The inspector will let you know about any problems they spot and make recommendations for repairs if any are necessary.
Of course, people buy existing homes all the time. That can mean you inherit gutter problems from the previous owner, particularly with fixer-uppers. For example, you spot dipping or sagging in the gutters.
In cases like that, you often require major repairs or even a full gutter system replacement. You’ll likely want professional assistance, such as eavestrough repair, for big repairs.
Some people will take on a full gutter system replacement as a DIY project. Unless you really know what you’re doing, though, you can create more problems for yourself than you solve. A pro installation ensures proper installation and may even come with a guarantee on the work.
Managing Your Home Gutter System
Managing your home gutter system is all about prevention. The simplest way you can prevent problems like gutter clogging is with regular cleaning. While often unpleasant, it can prevent a lot of problems.
You can also get someone out for a gutter inspection once a year. That lets you get minor repairs taken care of before they become major problems. If your gutter has serious issues, though, you’ll probably want a gutter pro for repairs or replacement.
Looking for more outdoor home tips? Check out the posts in our Outdoors blog section.