Homeowners across Minnesota are familiar with the importance of properly maintaining their home’s gutter system. However, it’s often not a favorable task when it comes to homeownership.
Instead of putting off cleaning your home’s gutter system, it’s crucial that you recognize why doing so regularly can prevent costly damage to your home and property. If gutters aren’t cleaned regularly, a variety of issues can occur, such as:
- Excessive water overflow during storms
- Disturbed foundation and structural integrity
- Flooded flowerbeds
- Damaged siding
- Clogged gutters
- Ice dams
- And more
These are only a few of the issues, which is why it’s critical that you regularly complete gutter maintenance year-round. To help you get started, our experts have compiled four tips that will be helpful when it comes to cleaning your home’s gutter system.
1. Regularly Clean Your Gutters
You might be curious as to how often you should be cleaning your gutters, and while this can depend on several factors, the general rule is at least twice a year. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutter system in the spring and fall.
If you have a lot of trees on your property, it’s likely that you will have to clean your gutters more often. Once you get into the habit of cleaning your gutters seasonally, it’s recommended to implement preventative cleaning as this will make future cleanings easier.
Following severe weather, you can clear your gutters of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Doing so will also allow you to inspect your gutters for any signs of damage.
2. Replace, Repair, or Clean
Cleaning and maintaining your gutters will help them last, but eventually, they will need to be replaced. In order to ensure that your gutters stay in optimal condition, you must inspect them regularly. Before cleaning, assess your gutters for signs that they may need to be repaired or replaced such as:
Cracks or Splits:
Take time to inspect your gutters for any signs of visual damage such as cracks or splits. Small cracks will grow over time, allowing water to seep into the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above them, and the foundation below. Any water seepage can cause substantial damage. If any cracks or splits are discovered, that section of the gutter must be replaced. If the damage is widespread, your entire gutter system may have to be replaced.
Paint used on gutter systems is weather-resistant; however, if water is present on a continuous basis, it may begin to peel or rust. If you notice damage to the paint on your gutters, look to see if there is a clog, as this could be an early sign of improper drainage. If the damage is not too severe, the paint can be touched up.
If there is pooling water near your home’s foundation after it rains, it could mean your gutters are clogged. You must clear your gutters of any debris, and if the problem persists there may be another issue.
If your gutters are sagging, they are beyond repair and will need to be replaced. Sagging gutters cannot drain water properly, meaning your home could be at risk during the next major storm.
3. Clean and Flush Your Gutters
When cleaning your gutters, it’s vital that you wear safety glasses and gloves. This equipment will protect you from large debris like twigs and leaves as it’s being removed. You can use a trowel or scoop to clear out small and compacted debris.
Once you’re finished manually clearing your gutters, it’s recommended to flush out your gutter system with a garden hose. Attach a spray nozzle to your hose for added pressure, and flush any remaining debris out of your gutter system and downspout.
This is also a great opportunity to check your gutters for leaks and to make sure all structures are free of debris.
4. Invest in Gutter Covers
Any type of preventative measure can go a long way when it comes to keeping your gutters clean. While we have already provided a few suggestions, investing in gutter covers may be the best choice if you live a busy lifestyle. Gutter covers vary in material, from mesh screens and clip-on grates to porous foam.
Regardless of the material you choose, gutter covers are in place to help keep large debris from entering your gutter system. While you will still need to clean your gutter covers periodically, they require much less work than cleaning out your gutters and downspouts.
Protect Your Home With Quality Gutters
As the seasons change, it is critical that you ensure that your gutters are working properly. Regular gutter maintenance will protect your home during severe weather, and will save you unnecessary expenses in the future.
Whether it’s routine inspections and maintenance, cleaning and flushing, or investing in gutter covers, there are many actions you can take to keep your property in quality condition.
If you need advice on gutter maintenance, are in the market for gutter repairs or replacements, or are considering having gutter covers installed, we encourage you to contact Advantage Construction today for more information.