There are many benefits and perks of owning a home, but for many people, maintaining their home’s gutters is not high on the proverbial list. A home’s gutters require regular maintenance to ensure that the structural integrity of the home stays intact so that its inhabitants can truly enjoy living in the space.
Malfunctioning gutters can result in the flooding of your home’s basement, accumulation of unwanted mold and mildew, and damage to your exterior boards and siding. Making sure that your gutters are installed and functioning properly is an important step that all homeowners should take, but gutter installation and upgrade is not a one-and-done deal. Here are four tips to help you take care of your gutters so that they can do their job and protect your home.
Check Your Gutter Positioning
The positioning of your gutters is very important, and it’s time well spent checking these periodically to make sure that it’s just right. Gutters positioned without adequate slope won’t move unwanted water away from the home or may hinder water drainage altogether, whereas too much gutter slope will cause water to drain too quickly and forcefully away from the house, resulting in damage to your home’s exterior.
Experts recommend sloping your gutters one-fourth of an inch for every 10 feet of gutter. The tilt of the gutters may need to be adjusted as well to ensure that they are not leaning too far forward or too far backward and thus not draining water effectively, so be sure to check that as well as the slope.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
A hose will do the trick to clean out your gutters, whereas something with a bit more power may be needed to dislodge objects like compacted leaves, pine needles, and twigs from your downspouts. You’ll be glad you took the time to clear them and thus ensure that your entire gutter system is running smoothly and correctly.
Experts recommend cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and again in the fall. Keep in mind that if you live in an area that is heavily populated with trees, you may have to increase your annual gutter cleaning schedule to as frequently as twice a week to keep your gutters clear.
Install a Gutter Cover or Helmet
Gutter helmets or covers may assist in keeping large objects of debris from clogging up your gutters, but if you live in an area populated with a lot of trees, like pine, you will need to inspect these regularly to ensure that they are free of pine needles, leaves, and other debris. While a helmet typically snaps onto the top front of the gutter and drains through a cutout at the end of it, a helmet cover is flat and sits on top of the gutter, acting like a drain with its perforated screen. (What is Gutter Guards?)
Upgrade Your Gutters with Guards
Although your home may already be outfitted with gutters, they may need to be upgraded with the addition of gutter guards. If you’ve ever checked the perimeter of your home after a heavy rainfall and noticed that there is dirt splashed up onto the side of your home, or the dirt around your home has been disturbed due to the force of the rainfall hitting the ground, you might want to consider installing guards.
Gutter guards installation should ensure that water is effectively drained away from the home and adequately protect your roof from unwanted mold and mildew damage. If you live in an area that is heavily populated with trees, guards can prevent leaves and large pieces of debris from clogging up your gutters. To maintain your guards, check and clean them out at least two times a year.
Ready To Hire a Professional?
If the idea of climbing up to the top of your home on a ladder with supplies in tow to inspect and de-clog your gutters sends you into a state of panic, don’t worry. Shull Construction specializes in this type of home maintenance so that you don’t have to worry about completing the task yourself.
Get online to request a free inspection, and be sure to give them the necessary information about the type of gutter system you have installed on your home so that they can better assess if they can clean your gutters to your satisfaction.