The gutters surrounding the roof of your home don’t require much attention, but they do need some maintenance throughout the year. It’s best to hire a professional to inspect your roof and gutters and complete repairs. However, there are some tasks you may consider completing.
Clean Debris Out of the Gutter
The best way to inspect the roof is by using a ladder. However, some gutter systems aren’t strong enough to withstand your weight and the ladder. Watch out for any sign that the gutter is bending under your weight and don’t proceed further.
If you can reach the edge of the roof without causing damage, your first step is to clean out the gutters:
- Work in sections to remove leaves, dirt, and other debris.
- Run water through the gutter from your hose to be sure that water flows through.
If you experience heavy winds and a lot of rain in your area, you may need to clear out clogs more frequently during the year.
Check for and Repair Minor Leaks
Once you’ve cleaned the gutters and you’re running water through them, look for any drips from the seams and joints, from holes along the gutter, and near the downspout. If you’ve caught this damage early enough, you may be able to repair it:
- Use a high-quality sealant on clean seams and joints.
- Very small holes in the gutter can be patched with roofing cement, and larger holes may require a piece of durable material as well.
- Leaky downspouts need to be replaced rather than repaired.
After your repairs are complete, run more water from your garden hose through the gutters to be sure the seals have taken.
Replace Missing Hardware
You also want to be sure that the gutter is attached securely to the roof. You may notice that sections of the gutter are pulling away or you may find screws or nails on the ground near the home. Loose gutters can be repaired by tightening hangers and replacing missing hardware. This type of repair may seem minor, but if you don’t address these small repairs, you may need to replace entire sections of the gutter later on.
Watch for Warping and Bending
It’s natural for gutters to warp as they get older. This bending also causing the gutter to pull away from the home, leading to missing hangers, and damage to the home. When you see this happening to the gutter system, it’s a good time to think about when to install new gutters. Most systems last for close to 20 years, and if you don’t how old your roofing system is, this age-related damage is a good indication that it’s time for a replacement.
Prepare for Seasonal Changes
As you prepare your home for winter weather, take a look at the trees on your property. Trim away branches near the roof and especially any branches that hang over. These can drop leaves, branches, and pinecones, as well as serving as a convenient bridge to your roof from animals and insects. Once again, make sure that there’s no debris in the gutters. It’s particularly important that your roof and gutter systems are in good working condition before it snows.
If possible, it’s best for professionals to handle the inspections and repairs of your roof and gutter system. This is a good way to avoid injuries from falling off the ladder. It’s also a good way to avoid unintentionally causing damage. When professionals inspect your roof, they may spot damage that you have overlooked, and, as always, the damage is much easier to repair when caught early on.
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