It is one of the areas of homes many homeowners don't give much thought to until there is a problem. And when selling a home, clean gutters can eliminate a potential inspection item. By then, however, gutter problems may be difficult or more expensive to resolve. Improper gutter maintenance can cause:
- Damage to a home's siding
- Damage to the roof line
- Foundation problems
- Annoying leaks and overspill
Here are some simple ways you can keep your gutters better maintained.
Make Sure Downspouts are Draining Properly
The downspouts are the vertical pipes that take water from the gutters along your roof, down through to the ground or for dispersal away from the home. It is absolutely critical that these downspouts flow cleanly for proper drainage. Checking is easy. Just carefully take a water hose up to the top of the downspout and let the water flow for a few minutes. If it doesn't back up, your downspouts and drainage tiles are good to go!
Check for Leaks in the Gutters
While many modern gutters are “seamless”, many older homes have gutters that were installed in sections where they connect together. Over time these connections can disconnect or become loose, causing leaks. These leaks can damage siding and even discolor or erode any cement below. During heavy rain, schedule a quick trip to inspect the performance of your gutters to make sure they don't look loose or disconnected.
Spring and Fall Cleaning
One of the more critical, but unpleasant tasks in maintaining gutters, is cleaning them every spring and fall. This keeps water free-flowing down the downspouts and can prevent clogs. It will also prevent backups and spillovers. There are a variety of products available that are designed to limit the amount of leaves, twigs, dirt, and dust that can clog gutters that may be worth investigating. The Spring and Fall are also a good time to give your gutters a good visual inspection, making sure all connections are tight and that the gutters are fastened firmly to the home.
Of course, as is with any North Calgary home maintenance or improvement project, keep safety your highest priority. If you don't feel comfortable on a ladder, find someone who can clean your gutters for you. Make sure ladders are stable and only climb when someone is nearby. Consider hose attachments that can help you check the flow of downspouts. Always value your safety when undertaking any home maintenance task.