As fall comes to an end and we begin the transition into the winter months, it is important to take a look at your home’s gutter system. Although a nuisance, keeping your gutters in check is important to directing water away from your home. It is especially crucial to prep your gutters for winter so that the combination of leaves and snow doesn’t cause damage.
Clean your gutters
The first and arguably most important step to gutter maintenance is cleaning them. Leaves and other debris will clog your gutters and disrupt the flow of water, leaving your home susceptible to water damage.
Soggy leaves and the weight of snow and ice will have your gutters bearing a significant load. Your gutters are not designed to hold that much weight, so it is important to keep them free of debris!
To clean your gutters, you will lead a sturdy, reliable ladder. Make sure the ladder is not leaning against your gutter as this could dent or damage it. You can use a plastic shovel, scoop, or spatula to clean out the leaves and debris. Then, use a hose to rinse out the gutters and ensure water is moving to where it’s supposed to be. If you don’t feel comfortable getting on a ladder, hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do the work for you.
Inspect your gutters
Once your gutters are cleaned, you should thoroughly inspect them for damage. Make sure that all joints are tight and in good condition. If you come across any other damage such as dents, gashes, or rust, it is important to replace or repair them as soon as possible.
As a preventative measure, gutter guards and gutter hangers can be installed. Gutter guards will minimize maintenance and keep leaves and other debris out of your gutters. A gutter hanger will give extra support to sagging metal gutters. These may be difficult to install yourself, so you may want to consider hiring a professional.
Trim your trees
The trees surrounding your home are likely the culprit for your clogged gutters. Of course, this is not the only thing that causes issues, but it is a big part of the problem. The best way to prevent leaves from clogging up your gutters in the winter is to trim the branches that hang over your roof.
The best time to trim your trees is at the end of summer, right before the leaves start falling. However, if you didn’t get around to that task this year, you can still benefit from trimming your trees later in the year.
Install downspout extensions
Downspout extensions are meant to divert water away from the foundation of your home. This allows water to flow onto the ground without splashing everywhere or pooling near your foundation and causing seepage. Downspout extensions should be installed wherever water cannot properly drain.
These maintenance tasks can be difficult. If you don’t have the right tools or equipment, the team at HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors has the experience and knowledge to help you find options for your gutter needs.