How To Maintain Your Gutters
Keeping up on gutter repairs around the home is something often overlooked. However, it’s also very important, as leaking or clogged gutters can easily lead to fascia boards becoming rotten, paint peeling, or even worse.
Gutters are Important
However tempting it may be to get rid of gutters completely, they do serve a necessary function in places that get more than fifteen inches a year of rain. Their main function is to funnel away water from the home that will help protect your foundation, landscaping, and siding. If you don’t use gutters, your siding may rot, the basement might flood, and your flower beds will erode.
Gutter guards may let you spread cleaning times out longer, though they’re not fool-proof and will need to be checked up on every so often. Pine leaves and straw may get lodged, and smaller stuff can still get through, causing large problems. Even shielding doesn’t necessarily stop leaks or prevent hangers from loosening.
Cleaning Your Gutters
To clean your gutters, you’ll need to make sure you have a garden trowel, a ladder, a trash-lined bucket, a rag and a hose. If you find any bad clogs, you’ll also need to have a plumber’s snake.
Once you’ve removed your gutter guards, you’ll take the trowel and scoop up all the debris and leaves that you find into your bucket.
If you’ve got a compost pile, go ahead and add all that material or throw it away wherever your regulations allow.
When you’ve got your gutters all cleaned out, check out your downspouts for any clogs. Do this by inserting your garden hose wrapped with a cloth around it, so that the water will flow through them.
Now you can get the person helping you turn on the water to the max and make certain that it’s freely flowing out of the downspout.
If you find a clog that isn’t cleared up by the high water pressure, then grab the plumber’s snake and break it all up that way, flushing anything remaining in the downspout with the hose.
Only for use if nothing else works: you may need to disassemble the downspout to be able to remove whatever is clogging it. Once you have it clear of debris, run your hose from the end and rinse it off completely.
Repair and Inspection
Once you have them all clean, check them out and repair your gutters as needed. Double check that all of your hangers are secure and fastened correctly. You may need to have a carpenter’s level handy to make sure that your gutters are sloping properly and are releasing water. The slant downward should be a quarter of an inch for every ten feet.
If you have a sagging section, make a chalk line snap in your fascia and then take away the hangers in that area.
Measure from the line of the chalk, lift up the gutter, and hold it in place by repositioning the hangers. Because water weighs so much, hangers should be placed every two feet and within one foot of seams.
Once your gutters are all secured and slope correctly, you will need to check for any leaks by using a hose to run water through it. If you find any, mark them and let the gutter completely dry out before sealing them up with gutter sealant.
You may also use roofing cement or caulking. There are also specially-designed self-sticking patches that can be used to cover up areas that have been damaged.
You may need to take apart the joint, clean both parts and then reassemble them if sealing it doesn’t work.
Now that the gutters are all cleaned and repaired you’ll want to keep an eye on them whenever it rains. If you see water spilling out over the sides or not coming out properly, jot a note for you to take care of them quickly.