Have you looked at your gutters recently? For most people, gutters are a component of their roof they rarely think about. As long as they are doing their job, we tend to assume they do not need our attention. Yet checking and maintaining your gutters periodically is a key part of achieving a functional roof and a happy home. Keep reading for your gutter maintenance checklist, courtesy of our expert roofers at Divine Roofing, Inc.
Our 7 Step Guide to Proper Gutter Maintenance
- Be Safe: Before you check your gutters, it is important to make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment. A sturdy ladder is the first thing to grab, as well as someone who can hold that ladder for you and act as a spotter. Make sure you have sturdy shoes too, such as work boots, before climbing up that ladder. Beyond that, you should also wear work gloves and goggles, to ensure you don’t accidentally get scratched while cleaning out debris.
- Check Your Roof: Your gutters are a part of your roof, so anything that can affect your roof can affect your gutters. While you should avoid standing on your roofing system directly unless you are a professional roofer, if there are loose shingles, debris, or even if there is mold growth on your roof, you should take note of it. Remember, granules from shingles can end up being very damaging to your gutters, so do not ignore this issue.
- Look for Rust, Leaks & Holes: Rust, leaks, and holes are among the top things that affect gutter performance, especially if you live in a place like Colorado that regularly experiences snowstorms and hail. If your gutter joints seem loose, you may need to tighten them, and if the flashing is damaged, you may need to purchase a gutter patching kit. But the more your gutters are rusty, or filled with holes and leaks, the worse they will perform, and the greater the likelihood is that you will need to replace them altogether.
- Inspect the Downspouts: You should inspect your downspouts as closely for leaks and rust just as closely as you inspect your gutters. Downspouts are the drainage pipes on the end of gutters that get rid of rainwater as it builds up on your roof. If they become cracked or clogs (more on that later,) your gutters may fail and your roof can experience water damage.
- Watch Out for Pests & Rodents: Pests and rodents love to make their home in gutters, so you should always be on the lookout for small creatures. You could find a nest in your gutters, in which case there is a chance that you will have a pest infestation in your home, too. If it’s rodents you’re dealing with, they may attract additional pests, like snakes. Other times, it could be a flying insect that’s attracted to water, like mosquitoes. And when larger pests have taken up residence in your gutters, they may start to damage your roof as well. Bottom line: if pests are getting in your gutters, call a professional exterminator to take care of the problem ASAP.
- Clean Your Gutters Regularly: Ultimately, the main thing you can do for your gutters is simply to clean them out occasionally. You may already be doing this in fall, when leaves start to fall from the trees, thus creating clogs in your gutters. But leaves aren’t the only things that create gutter clogs. There are all sorts of debris that can accumulate in your gutters year-round, from snow in the winter to weeds in the summer. To properly clean your gutters out, get rid of debris with your gloved hands and put it in a bucket. After this, spray down your gutters with a hose to eliminate any trace residue that has been left behind, spraying it out through the downspout. If this water does not come out of your downspout, try turning up the nozzle to full pressure, and if it still doesn’t come out after that, remove the downspout to manually look for the blockage. After that, reattach the downspout and any other loose pieces and spray your gutters down one more time. If you cannot locate the obstruction in the downspout on your own, hire a professional to get rid of it for you. Speaking of which…
- Don’t Be Afraid to Hire a Professional Roofer: Even the best gutters do not last forever, so do not be afraid to hire a professional to see whether your gutters need repair or replacement. There are many different options for new gutters, from an affordable choice like aluminum to a more expensive like stainless steel. No matter what kind of gutters you choose though, remember that they will affect the curb appeal and overall aesthetic of your property. That’s why if your gutters are worn down or experiencing issues, you should never be afraid to call for an upgrade—especially if you’ve got an experienced, efficient company like Divine Roofing, Inc. on your side!