Spring or early summer is a great time to enjoy the beginning of several months or warmer weather. It also means that for many homeowners, it’s time to clean out the gutters.
When it rains, the gutters route water from the home’s roof away from the home and foundation. Because of this, they serve an important function of protecting your siding, foundation, and windows of your home from water damage and preventing basement flooding.
For them to work correctly, you have to ensure your gutters and downspouts are cleared of any debris and leaves. If not, they will dam up and be filled with standing water, overflow, and cause the gutters to become loose.
To prevent this from happening, there are some things you can do to maintain your gutters.
Rake off Roof
The first thing you want to do is rake off your roof of any debris. If you don’t take this first step, the next time it rains it will lead to water washing the debris into your gutters and eventually clogging them up. In addition, any debris that you leave on your roof will cause water to dam up around the chimney and in valleys which can lead to erosion and roof leaks.
Clean Out Debris from Gutters
Next, you need to get the debris out of your gutters. You can keep the decomposed leaves and use for compost or mulch later on if you want to. Don’t forget about the downspout. If you notice debris or leaves clogging it, it’s important to clean it out or the water will not drain properly and you will end up with mud, mildew and sagging gutters.
Blast Gutters out with Hose
Use a hose with a high-pressure, on-off nozzle on it and spray out the entire length of each gutter, moving the debris towards the drain outlet. This can get messy and you might end up with some splattered mud on your house. This can be easily cleaned off with a scrub brush.
Ensure the downspouts are cleared out. Once you clean your gutters out, take the hose and run the water at full pressure down the downspout. If you see the water backing up, this means there is a clog. Typically, you can unclog it by banging lightly on the side of the downspout. However, if this does not work, you will have to remove the downspout and back to flush it out from the bottom.
Maintaining your gutters is important. After every rainfall, check for any leaks and use a marker to mark them so you can come back and patch up the holes or fix any pitch issue when it is dry.
Since you can’t keep debris out entirely, you should have your gutters cleaned once a year or couple of years at minimum. It is also essential that you have a good insurance homeowners policy in place in the (hopefully unlikely) case there is any damage due to clogged gutters.