Gutters are a crucial and indispensable fixture in every home. They help the roof drain water properly and avoid costly damage that could compromise your home’s basic structure. However, a leaking gutter causes rainwater from your home’s roof to settle around the perimeter, causing leaks into the foundation of your house.
Since gutters protect the foundation of your home, preserving its structural integrity and keeping it stable, you need to know how to maintain them in any season. Unfortunately, neglected gutters are common in busy households. So, as a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your gutters are well-maintained to avoid inconveniences during any weather.
Common Seasonal Gutter Problems
Various obstructions can limit your gutter’s capacity to redirect water flow from your roof through downspouts that channel it away from your house. They clog easily, especially with trees around your property, and cause numerous problems as the seasons change.
Below are some common gutter maintenance tips for homeowners during different seasons.
The mild weather, melting snow, and abundant rain during spring combine to create unique gutter problems in addition to what might have cropped up during the winter season.
Falling or damaged gutters are pretty common during spring. Heavy snowfall or ice causes gutters to pull away and detach from the wall, sometimes causing significant gutter damage like breakages.
On the other hand, it’s common to find gutters filled with leaves, twigs, and other waste products that were blown there by the winter wind in the early spring. Accumulated debris causes clogging, which is a common gutter problem in spring.
Also, obstructed downspouts are another common gutter problem during spring. Leaves and debris that accumulate in the gutter during the winter usually block the downspout, interfering with water flow. As rainwater seeks other avenues of escape, it pools around the house, causing moisture buildup in your walls before seeping into the foundation. And when water escapes through your roof, it causes leaks that destroy your home’s roofing.
With that said, consider the following tips to keep your gutter system in good shape during spring:
- In early spring, clean your gutters using a leaf blower or broom to eliminate accumulated leaves and debris. While wearing protective gloves, use your hands to scoop out all soggy and decomposing leaves and twigs.
- After manually removing all debris from the gutters, it’s advisable to flush it out to get rid of the particles that could not be scooped out using your hands. You can use a garden hose with an attached spray nozzle that will increase the water pressure and eliminate unthawed ice in the openings of gutter downspouts.
- Carry out needed repairs on loose gutters that are still in good condition and then re-attach them back to the wall. However, falling and damaged gutters would need to be replaced, and it would be ideal to get the assistance of professionals.
2. Summer Challenges
As temperatures hit higher digits, they introduce a new set of gutter problems. Accumulated dust and debris in your gutters during the dry season provide a good home for different insects and birds, attracting other pests that feed on them.
Cleaning your gutters during the summer is an important activity that can help keep pests away from your home environment. Summer is also an excellent time to have your gutters checked for any damage.
Some gutter maintenance tips during the summer include:
- Applying a fresh coat of paint reduces corrosion and extends the life of your gutters. Consider doing all paint jobs towards the end of summer when temperatures are lower.
- Towards the end of summer and in preparation for the next season, fall, consider trimming overgrown trees, especially if you have many of them in your compound. Doing so will reduce the accumulation of debris in your gutter during the fall season.
Too many leaves everywhere not only changes your neat landscape but also affects your gutters. Continuous accumulation of leaves during the fall season clogs your gutters as piling moisture from decomposing leaves causes rusting and discoloration. In addition, moisture from trapped decomposing leaves makes the exterior walls moldy.
The fall season is one of the best times to schedule gutter cleaning to prevent the accumulation of debris. It’s advisable to carry out any maintenance work in late fall when the leaves are almost done falling to prevent having to unclog your gutters too soon.
Some gutter maintenance tips during fall include:
- Regular cleaning of your gutter system to remove debris
- Installing gutter covers to prevent the accumulation of falling leaves
The buildup of ice and snow on leaves and debris accumulated during the fall weighs down your gutters, causing them to sag, detach, crack, or entirely fall apart. So, clean out your gutters before winter is critical for your home’s maintenance. You can do the following steps to clean your gutters before winter hits:
- All damage to our gutters should be dealt with as soon as it’s noticed. You should reattach all detached gutters in good condition back to the wall and use sealants to fix minor cracks. Consider replacing any section of your gutter that has extensive damage.
- Cleaning your gutter using a long broom, outdoor vacuum, or leaf blower is enough to eliminate all the debris clogging your gutters. You could also consider installing rain guards to prevent debris from settling in your gutters.
- Removing accumulated debris, including unthawed ice from the upper and bottom openings of gutter downspouts, is also essential. A simple garden hosepipe can help you clean up your downspouts while you might need help with stubborn obstructions.
Gutters play a critical role in safeguarding your home’s foundation. However, the elements in different seasons often result in clogged or damaged gutters that interfere with their capacity to drain water. If going up the ladder and cleaning your gutters isn’t something you do well, inviting professionals to do it for you is the most viable route to keep your gutters in good shape.