Gutter Maintenance Equals Prevention
Rain gutter maintenance is one of the most important home maintenance jobs to perform on the outside of your property. Neglecting gutter maintenance might result in damage and costly repairs of the soffit, fascia, house wall (exterior and interior), roof decking surfaces, and other structures surrounding your property.
Rain gutters have to be cleaned more regularly if there are trees surrounding your home or in neighboring yards. During the autumn, when those trees begin shedding their leaves, you may need to have the gutters cleaned several times.
Make sure to perform your closing gutter and downspout maintenance / check-up by the end of the autumn, when all tree leaves have evaporated. Assess your downspouts – the most effective way to figure out how your gutters are performing is to always go outside during the rain.
Water is overflowing the gutter edges / no water eliminating from them, or if it’s minimal, you’ve got a few potential problems:
The downspout or the gutter itself is clogged – necessitates cleaning.
Section of the gutter is sagging – that occurs occasionally because of loose nails / screws / brackets supporting the gutter in place (splitting from fascia board), contamination (weight of soil, leaf and debris collected along the rain gutter) – needs cleaning and / or just repositioning.
If you have significant water discharging from your downspout and still have an overflowing gutter, you might need certainly to replace your gutter system (or at least the downspouts) with a bigger one.
To clean a midly contaminated gutter, you can use a garden hose and flush all the deposits, then pick up anything that didn’t make its way down in the downspout accessory area.
It might be possible to clean the gutter from the lawn by using a garden hose accessory / extension. In the event you might have some kind of gutter leaf guards installed, you will have to remove them first.
Nonetheless, this process will not work on years of deposits inside the gutter, and you will need to pick up all the decomposed leaves and debris by hand.
Protection and Safety
It’s a good idea to use utility gloves to protect your hands from joint screws and gutters sharp edges. Safety glasses are also recommended.
For the clogged downspout, make an effort to use your garden hose – just make sure the underparts of the the downspout is free and not closed before you stick the hose in. Filling a clogged downspout with water will put pressure on all joints and downspout mounts – your whole downspout assembly might be prone to collapse.
Flushing the gutter or downspout with a garden hose while standing along with the ladder is unsafe. Water might pull you down from the ladder and a filled garden hose is heavy – ideally, it should be fixed / anchored above the area you are working on / not to the ladder!
There are various tools available out there and some of them might speed-up your gutter maintenance procedure, but the old-fashioned way (100% manual) will provide you with the most satisfaction. 🙂
All it takes to fix the leaking gutter seam is a few minutes of your time – to clean this region that is leaking from any contamination, and use Dap 27062 Butyl-Flex Gutter and Flashing Caulk, or an identical sealant designed for that purpose.
After it stops raining, look at some other seams on the downspout attachment area, and the gutter corners. Determined by the setup, a seam that is leaking might or might not cause any issues. The surface beneath the gutter should be protected by a good-quality paint (no matter how great it is, it won’t last forever), or aluminum capping will liven that flow.
You must look for damage in the region next and below the seam that is leaking, there might be a rotten soffit / fascia board, deteriorating mortar or brick, water siding that is damaged as well as moisture / water penetrating the inside of your house.
If you discover any stains underneath the gutter, It is highly recommended to check the roof surface directly above this place – it might be damaged.
Nonetheless, their seams might break and start occasionally leaking too.
It all is determined by the amount of corrosion – seeing a somewhat corroded bottom, the gutter or section would likely need replacement, and might be a sign of a highly corroded inside. However, in case you are creative… roofing cement, aluminum foil, silicon, electrical tape, duct tape, and many other prodcuts can be used. It might seem a bit ugly but occasionally it works. If the alloy gutter material feels solid, remove just as much rust as possible to treat the area with a liquid rust remover, match the gutter color with some paint that is corrosion resistant and then apply the rust converter.
Rain Gutter Guards / Displays
Gutter guards and screens help to lower the level of maintenance the gutters demand. There are many different types of gutter guards, so do some research before you spend your cash.
They will have round holes on the surface and a screen that is fine / micro mash on top of it. This keeps debris from contaminating the gutter falling off the trees. Anything that gathers on top of the display will be eventually washed off by the rain or blown off the surface.
There’s another version of this guard with no screen, it’s not marginally more expensive but allows smaller leaves and debris to penetrate and eventually clog the gutter.
Another thing to consider is the gutter guard colour – this specific kind comes in brown and white, at least.
Why is the gutter screen / guard color significant – if your roof receives a lot of sunshine, brown gutter guards start changing and bending its dimensions with time and if made from plastic will attract significant heat. This is what happened on my roof and resulted in critical gaps between individual segments… and more maintenance.
Rain Gutter Strainers Maintenance
Gutter strainers are installed on top of the gutter exit or inside, in most cases somewhat inserted into the downspout. They prevent leafs and debris from clogging your downspouts and work fine provided that you keep them clean on a regular basis. Leafs and debris that begin gathering around the strainer will eventually block it entirely, and cause the gutter to overflow.
It is highly recommend using a rain gutter strainer if your downspout discharges into an underground drain and if there are any trees in the area of your property – just remember to clean it periodically!
However, if you have no trees around your property, the rain gutter strainer just isn’t necessary. Small debris carried by wind will simply flow down the downspout without accumulating around the strainer, and saving you some rain gutter care time.