Gutter maintenance can be difficult. Nobody likes to do it. But you don’t want to suffer the consequences of leaving your gutters untended — the buildup of leaves and twigs, damage to the roof, and even damage to your house’s foundation can result. Here are five things every homeowner should know about gutter maintenance.
1. They should be cleaned out twice a year.
Autumn and spring are the best times of year to clean your drain systems. If they are left alone, falling leaves can accumulate in them, leading to other problems.
The drain system shields your home’s foundation, walls, and roof from rainwater. But, according to Home Depot, if left untended, gutters can become breeding grounds for mold, debris, or even rodents. And if water builds up in clogged gutters, it can rot or rust the gutters, which will eventually pull away from the house.
To avoid that outcome, pick a reputable drain cleaning service. Their price will probably depend on how big your house is and the length of the gutter to be cleaned.
2. If water freezes in the gutters, they can actually break.
Water expands when it freezes, so soggy leaves that freeze in winter can eventually take down your gutter system.
The best way to prevent this is to make sure the gutters are cleaned out before the cold weather hits. That way, you won’t have to pay someone extra money to dig frozen leaves out of your gutters and downspouts under a layer of snow.
3. They sometimes have to be repaired or replaced.
Gutters can wear out over time. You should be prepared for the possibility that your gutters will need to be fixed or replaced entirely.
If something causes a break, water will run down the side of your house instead of running down the gutter spouts. Then the water goes into the house, gets into the house’s foundation, and wears down the foundation, rotting the wood or eroding the mortar of your house’s base.
You can help prevent water runoff around your house by making sure that the water flowing from downspouts is pushed away from your house with splash blocks, downspout extensions, or irrigation pipes, according to Today’s Homeowner.
Home Depot recommends that you look for cracks in the gutters, standing water or mildew, rust, water damage, or sagging gutters for signs of damage that need repairs.
You can also prevent damage by making sure your roof is always in good shape. Professionals like Metro City Roofer, a roofer colorado know what kind of roof replacements or repairs can help prevent nasty buildup in your gutters or around your roof. As a roofing contractor with the Colorado Roofing Association, these experts are able to recommend what kind of shingles or roof project works for your unique home.
4. Replacing gutters or downspouts can be expensive.
To the best of your ability, try to take care of your gutters so you won’t have to replace them often. Upkeep may take a chunk out of your budget, but it’s far less expensive than having to replace your gutter system.
That said if you do have to replace part or all of your gutter system, be prepared to pay a professional roofing company to do a great job of it.
5. Don’t try to clean them on your own if you can avoid it.
Gutter cleaning is a job best left to the pros. They know how to climb up on your roof and clean the leaves out without falling. They also know how to clear out your downspouts.
Some people choose to buy screens that can be installed over the gutters. This can prevent leaves from getting in and allow them to clean the gutters less frequently. The downside is that debris will ultimately gather on the screens, which will need to be removed to clean the gutters.
Still, the surefire way to keep your gutters clean is to pick a day in autumn or spring, seek out a professional roof cleaner and let them have at it, keeping your gutters clear for another season.
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