Wintertime is especially problematic for homeowners. When there’s a gutter issue, water can overflow due to a blockage. The water then pools around the property at ground level and can freeze overnight creating an icy slipping hazard.
To avoid these and other related issues, here are 4 gutter maintenance tips.
1. Don’t Leave It Too Long Between Inspections
When you don’t tend your gutters several times a year, it creates the possibility of a worsening situation developing. For instance, a stubby limb that’s fallen from a tree can repeatedly scrape along the interior of the gutters. Every time it rains, the branch gets pushed around potentially causing more internal damage. Eventually, the branch may break through the material creating a hole that will then need repairing later.
2. Repair Holes Before They Widen Further
Holes in a gutter piece can usually be fixed up almost like new, though it won’t cosmetically look the best close-up (from a distance, it’ll be fine). Remove any debris from the gutter area. Pick a day when it’s been dry both that day and the preceding one. Use a wire brush to clean inside the hole to prepare it. Then add a bit of roofing cement over where the hole has been found. Once applied, the roofing cement must be smoothed out with a putty knife. Doing so ensures that water will flow over it cleanly once it’s set.
3. Address Pooling Water Inside the Gutters
When you find that still water pools at certain places in the gutters, then there are multiple possible causes for this. The first reason is that there’s a clogging issue. Once this is removed, the water no longer pools. The second reason is that the gutters are not balanced correctly. To allow water to flow freely and not get held up, gutters should be angled downwards approximately ¼ of an inch every 10 feet. If this isn’t correct, adjust the positioning to fix it before a mold problem develops due to the still water.
A carpenter’s level can confirm the new angle is correctly set. Don’t guess.
4. Not Every Gutter Issue Will Be Repairable
Gutters might be made from fiberglass, aluminum, or another material. While it’s often possible to complete repairs like using roofing cement as a duct tape-type solution, it won’t fix all problems. Sometimes the holes are too wide to cover over and the cracks are too deep. At a certain point, it’s best to cut your losses, save on the future time needed for additional repair work, and just replace the gutter sections. Failing that, when the gutters are sufficiently old or performing their job badly, then it may be time to replace all the gutters and start over. Seamless gutters are usually a better choice. They fit flush with the building to prevent the usual amount of debris from reaching the gutter interior.
If you’re considering replacing your gutters, these advantages of going seamless make a real difference if you want less home maintenance in your future. Don’t wait too long to check on your gutters. If there’s a problem there, you’ll be glad it wasn’t a task that was put off any longer.