Winter can be intense. The elements take a toll on your home, both inside and out. Your roof is one of your first lines of defense against these elements, which is why we recommend including a comprehensive inspection and maintenance of your roof when spring arrives. However, one area that often goes overlooked during this inspection is your home’s gutter system. We’re not too sure why people skip this step, but it is just as important as everything else.
Why? Well, your gutters are what direct water away from your home. It is a draining system that makes sure water doesn’t leak into unwanted places and create costly damage. Gutters help to protect your shingles, siding, soffits and more. When they aren’t working properly, they can even start to degrade the stability of your home through soil and foundation erosion. At the end of the day, gutters are just as important to inspect as the rest of your home.
Damage to your gutters can happen quickly. Even if you only have mild damage, the weight and continual pressure from built up water and debris can turn an easily fixable annoyance into a major problem. That’s why inspection and maintenance is so important. The best time to make these inspections is during the spring months, right after the harsh winters but before the heavy rains begin to fall. Add it to your list of chores and make sure you not only inspect them but to also clean them and take proper maintenance care as spring turns into summer.
Clean Out Your Gutters
In order to clean your downspout, you can first try to use more water. Turn the pressure up high and run a hose either up the bottom or down the top. If it is not coming clean then you can get a plumber’s snake and run that through. At the end of the day if this doesn’t work, you’ll likely need to take apart your downspout to remove it and find the cause of the clog. Since larger items sometimes get stuck inside, removing the downspout will allow you to quickly, and easily, get everything back into working order.
After you’ve cleaned away all of the debris, start working on the smaller residue and mold buildup. When you add these details to your cleaning routine, you’ll ensure that your gutters stay slick and clean to easily expel debris. We recommend working from the downspout up, so that when you clean the rest of your gutters things will easily flow out and prevent another blockage. Try finding a good cleaner with a strong concentration to tackle this step. Another benefit is that when you take good care of your gutter system, you can fight corrosion and increase lifespan. Finish this off with a good rinse and your gutters are ready to go.
Check For Damage
As you clean your gutters, it’s important to keep an eye out for any visible damage. We recommend cleaning them fully before the more intensive inspection, as once they are clean you will be able to look for less subtle damage. Get on your roof and take a good look at the entirety of your system. Keep an eye out for any small corrosion, sagging and even small holes. Additionally, make sure that all of the fasteners are intact and secured tightly.
If you find that a few areas of your gutters are sagging, it’s usually an easy fix. This often results simply from loose or missing fasteners. If they’re loose, all you need to do is tighten them and it should take care of the sagging. When there are areas that are missing fasteners, just replace them. They’re inexpensive and easy to purchase at your local home improvement store if you don’t have any extras at home.
Sometimes damage occurs and gutters get cracks or holes. If this happens then you’ll need to make a decision. If they are small, and you feel comfortable repairing them yourself, then you can use a gutter sealer to mend the problem areas. However, if they are large and seem difficult to repair with simple sealer, you’ll want to call a professional. You will likely need to get the damaged sectioned replaced, but in the long run doing these small replacements is much better and cheaper than waiting for something to break and cause more damage.
You can also check for any unseen damage on a rainy day. If you don’t see water coming out in a steady flow from the downspout, then there might be some underlying issues. Additionally, you should not have any water overflow or leakage from your gutters.
When your gutter damage goes undetected or unfixed, it can start to cause problems for your home’s fascia boards. The longer problems go unattended, the more expensive things can get. It can even get to a point where you need to replace fascia board, decking, siding and rafters! If you think that your gutters are beyond repair, call a professional and get a quote to get them replaced.
Maintain Your Gutters
Remember, debris and buildup can occur even a week after you’ve cleaned and repaired your gutters. The important thing is to maintain gutter care through the warm months in order to avoid long-lasting damage. If there are strong windstorms or even a heavy rain, take a few minutes during the weekend to get up and make sure that everything is still clean and in working order. It’s recommended at the very least, to do a comprehensive clean and check at least twice a year – in the spring and right before winter hits.
If you live in an area that has heavier and frequent rainfall you can add another clean into your schedule sometime in between. You’ll also want to consider extending your downspout so that water is expelled farther away from your foundation or into a drywell. This will make sure that the integrity of your home remains intact and not damaged from flooding.
Taking the time to inspect, clean, repair and maintain your gutters is an important part of home care. Keep it on your to-do list and you’ll reap the benefits.
When to Call a Professional
Sometimes, unfixable damage does happen. After an overly harsh winter, strong winds or long-term regular wear and tear you may need to fix or replace your gutter system. If you find that your gutters need a bit more than just some spring-cleaning, then it’s best to call in the professionals.
When you choose to hire a professional rather than attempting to fix or repair on your own, you can rest easy knowing that the job will be done right the first time around. Professionals have a level of experience and expertise that comes with years of work and dedication. If you’re unsure about self-inspection, professionals will make sure that you don’t miss anything that could lead to costly repairs in the future. Hiring a professional contractor gives you peace of mind and can help you save money over time.
If you are looking for highly skilled professionals then look no further than Advocate Roofing. We are a team of experienced contractors that work efficiently and with every budget. All of the jobs our teams do are done with high levels of integrity with longevity in mind. We are transparent and will only make repairs or replacements to what you need done. Everything in good condition will be preserved so that you never over pay.
To contact an experienced team of specialists today, give us a call at (414) 386-3900. You can also reach out to our customer service hotline, 888-777-ROOF (7663) or visit us at www.advocateroofing.com.