Because they’re often overlooked, gutters are the unsung heroes of every home. Yet these simple structures play a vital role in keeping your roof dry. Their primary function is to protect your home from water damage by redirecting excess flow away from the roof, foundation, and landscaping.

In most cases, the standard for routine gutter maintenance and cleaning is twice a year. But when you live in an area that has frequent downpours and harsh winters, you may want to step up your game a bit. The same holds true if your property is home to a lot of trees because leaves and branches can fall right into your gutters and clog them up.

Gutter maintenance and repair are essential to keeping your home safe from water damage. Below are a few basics regarding year-round routine gutter maintenance for your home.

Clear Your Gutters of Debris and Excess Water

Wintertime is hard on your gutters. Snow and ice buildup can weigh on everything and cause the very water backup that damages your home’s foundation. Plus, it’s easy for branches, twigs, and other matter to hide inside your gutters.

The first tip in gutter maintenance is to check your gutters for debris. Look for anything that clogs them up whether it’s branches, loose dirt, sticks, or bird’s nests. You can clear out these items easily. All it takes is a ladder, a bucket, and some work gloves. You can clean your gutters by hand and put the debris in a bucket for easy disposal.

There are other methods that will help you clean your gutters much faster. A leaf blower will clear out your gutter clutter in seconds. You won’t need to worry about reaching into your gutters or carrying a bucket while on a ladder. If you’ve had a lot of seasonal rain, you may want to use a wet/dry vacuum to clear out excess water. This allows your gutters to do their job efficiently and effectively.

Clean Your Gutters

Once you’ve taken care of the debris, the next step is to clean out your gutters. All you need is a garden hose with a special attachment for gutters. Turn on the water full blast and clean out any mold or mildew buildup. There’s no need to use harsh chemicals or cleaning agents during the process. For best results, try using a power washer.

Have Your Trees Trimmed

Another good preventive measure is to have your trees professionally trimmed. Late summer or early fall are a perfect time to have this done. Doing so will prevent leaves and twigs from falling directly into your gutters and causing water backup. This can save you a lot of cleanup work during the spring.

Inspect Your Gutters for Leaks

Another positive of cleaning your gutters is that you can spot leaks and drainage problems. However, it’s best to have a friend or neighbor help you with this endeavor. Simply point the hose or hose attachment at the downspout and turn the water on for a few minutes. Have the other person check your gutters to see if any water is leaking from them. You should be able to hear water trickling through a hole inside your gutter. If you notice this, call a gutter repair specialist for an inspection and an estimate.

If you don’t see any leaks and you don’t hear water running, chances are you’re just dealing with a gutter clog. Thankfully, most clogs are easy to take care of. To flush the debris, aim your hose toward the downspout and turn the water on full blast.

Check for Rust and Dents

Years of wear and tear and weather exposure can take their toll on your gutters. Be sure to inspect for rust, holes, and dents inside and around your gutter system. Conditions like severe storm damage, ice and snow can impact performance. If you notice any extensive rust or weather damage, it’s time for a professional gutter upgrade.

Having your gutters updated has several benefits. You’ll have a new set that works well with your home. You can invest in a set that has a longer life span by opting for the right material.

Aluminum is a popular choice among homeowners because it’s cheap and easy to install. Aluminum is great for holding more water. These gutters can also withstand snow and hail, plus they are less likely to sag under pressure. You can customize the material for desired thickness and shape to fit any space on or around your roof. Plus, you can paint aluminum gutters to match your home using 100% acrylic paint.

Check for Pests and Rodents

Squirrels, birds, rats, mice, and other wild creatures have a way of making your gutters their new home. These tiny animals can build nests and breed, which leads to a major infestation. Rats and mice can use your gutters to make their way into your home to seek warmth and food when it’s cold outside. Not only can they steal your food, but they can also chew your electrical wires and cause serious damage. Plus, they spread disease and are simply a nuisance.

But there are ways you can prevent this from happening. Check your gutters for any signs of unwanted guests. Remember that rodents attract snakes, which means you could have another problem on your hands. If you’re confronted with pests lurking within your gutters, call a pest control expert immediately. They can help you eliminate the problem right away.

Perform General Wintertime Maintenance

Gutter maintenance isn’t just for good weather and warm temperatures. There are a few things you can do for your gutters as part of a general wintertime routine. One basic task is to check for snow accumulation. You can prevent clogs, dents, and siding wear and tear that result from the weight of snow. You can prevent ice from blocking your water flow by clearing your gutters. A set of professionally installed heat cables helps prevent ice from forming and keeps the water flowing.

In an area with seasonal downpours, look into using rain barrels to catch excess water. Check your rain barrels and be sure to empty them. Have them disconnected before the winter season hits to prevent permanent gutter damage from frozen water.

Wrapping It Up

With proper care and routine maintenance, your gutters will go a long way. You can prevent clogs and damage due to seasonal wear and tear. The only problem is that it’s difficult to see gutter damage from a distance. A thorough inspection requires a ladder and protective equipment such as gloves and work attire. In most cases, it’s best to hire a professional to perform the inspection. They are well-trained and can uncover problems before they worsen.

At Warren Thompson & Son Roofing & Siding, we offer you solutions to meet your home roofing needs. We serve people living in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas. Our services include roof repair, roof replacement, siding, and gutters. We perform storm damage services and can help with home and commercial roofing needs. Call Warren Thompson & Son Roofing & Siding today to learn more.

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