The roof of the house has a protective function, protecting people from wind, sun, and rain. The roof is the first to take the brunt of the elements. But for the complete safety of your building, it is mandatory to use quality gutters. They need constant inspection. You may need a ladder, a brush, and a plastic spatula for this.
Remember, it is strictly forbidden to use sharp objects, as they can damage the integrity of the plastic gutters. In this article, we will discuss 5 tips on how to keep your gutters in great shape.
Inspect Your Gutters One or Twice a Year
Gutter cleaning is necessary for the entire drainage system to work properly. Otherwise, your home will get a number of serious problems:
- Sinking foundations and damp walls. Accumulated leaves and other debris in the gutter block stormwater runoff. As a result, water pours out over the gutter’s edge, drains onto the backsplash, and penetrates the soil. This can lead to foundation undermining. In addition, the water will tend to enter the house through the walls and ceilings. Wet spots will appear.
- Mold and insects. Even a small amount of foliage can damage a gutter or cause it to leak. Accumulated moisture and debris in the gutter promote the growth of fungi, harmful bacteria, moss, and mold. In the warm season, clogged gutters and wasps’ nests can appear. In this case, you will have to do disinfestation in addition to the standard gutter cleaning procedure.
- Trash can cause a fire. Combining the words “fire” and “gutter” in the same article may seem like an oxymoron, but there is a possibility. During the summer, dry branches, straws, and leaves get on the roof. They dry quickly on the roof in the heat and can catch fire from a heated metal roof in the sun. Dry trash is just enough of a spark from a barbecue to catch fire.
To stay out of trouble and keep your gutters running smoothly, clean them regularly. Clean gutters at least twice a year. The first time, it is advisable to do it in the spring when the temperature is above zero. The second time, cleaning should be done before frosts in the fall months. It is also great to clean the gutters in the summer if you live in a wooded area.
Cut off Overhanging Branches
Cutting off tree branches is essential. The gutter can become clogged, cracked, or fall over if they fall. In the latter case, you will need gutter replacement. If a branch gets stuck in a hard-to-reach place, it will be difficult to remove, even with a spring rope.
Check Your Roof & Siding
To ensure that the gutters perform their intended function, experts recommend regularly inspecting roofs and siding. It is vital to clean them from debris in time. Critical clogs, chips, or cracks are not allowed.
Timely maintenance of the roof and siding allows you to extend the operating period of the entire structure. Regular inspection can easily prevent the formation of problems, in particular, ruptures.
Use Protection Elements On The Roof
Today, proper maintenance of gutters requires using protection elements on the roof. In this case, it is possible to use snow holders, which will reduce the load on the gutter with the descent of snow in large quantities. In order to avoid ice in the gutters, you can optionally install a de-icing system that provides artificial heating.
Clean It Routinely
Basic steps to clean gutters:
- Get a stable and suitable height ladder. If your home is two or more stories high, you can use a truck-mounted tower or scaffolding. Before you start, take care to protect yourself from sharp twigs, dirt, and anything that can be in the gutters and can ruin your clothes. Wear gloves to clean the gutters.
- Clean the gutters and funnels from debris. If you clean the gutters by hand, you must constantly rearrange the ladder and keep a bag ready for the garbage. This gets tired pretty quickly. That’s why there are some simpler options:
- Telescopic handle. With it, you’ll be able to clean a lot more without having to move the ladder.
- High-pressure spray nozzle. The principle of operation is simple – with the help of the tool, all the dirt is washed out.
- After cleaning the gutter, see if the pipe is not clogged with debris. Clean it with a spring rope. It should not scratch the pipe. If you do not have a handy cable, find a long wooden stick and gently remove the clog with it.
- Rinse the gutter with water from a hose or bucket, placing another bucket under the drain to wash out all debris.
Garbage in the gutters can be very unsightly: half-rotted grass leaves with a characteristic odor, liquefied dirt, humus, and so on. Therefore, for its collection, take a thick container: buckets or plastic bags. Collecting garbage after the rain is better to avoid garbage flying around. Also, you can use gutter guards. This is an important part of gutter cleaning. It will keep debris and leaves out of your gutters.
Now you know how to keep your gutters in great shape and eliminate gutter replacement. Be especially careful, and your gutters, roof, and the house will have a longer service life.