Gutters are very important for the wellbeing of your home. Their purpose is to protect your foundation, roof, walls and landscape by controlling the flow of the rainwater. But, if you don't pay enough attention to them, they can turn from something that is necessary for your home into one of your worst nightmares.
If the gutters get clogged with sticks, leaves and other debris, there is a big chance that the roof is going to become leaky, and it can also lead to some water damage to the exterior and interior of your home. Contractors even say that the gutters that are clogged with debris can easily become nice homes for mold, rodents, pests and even honeycombs. And remember that this is something that can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
How Often Should You Clean the Gutters?
It depends on how many trees you have in your yard and where you live. It is recommended to have the gutters cleaned in the fall and spring. It is also important to hire a professional to clean the downspouts. Cleaning the downspouts is important because if they get too clogged with debris, it can cause the rainwater to overflow the gutter.
You should clean the gutters about every four months, but it really depends on the type of leaves that fall in your area and how often they fall. However, you need to make sure to clean them before all of the leaves have fallen.
Use Gutter Covers
Using the gutter covers can reduce debris. These covers can significantly help you when it comes to cleaning the gutters. So, instead of cleaning them every four months or so, you may only need to do it every one to three years. It is a good idea to visually check to see if the gutters are clean, even if you have the gutter covers. This is because even if you have said covers, they can't prevent all of the debris from getting in. Actually, the amount of debris that can still get in is up to 20%. In this case, you need to remove the covers and take out the remaining debris yourself.
Also, one more thing that is important for you to remember is to purchase only the quality screens and covers. Look for the ones that suit the type of trees in your yard.
Should You Hire a Professional or Do It Yourself?
Even though cleaning the gutters is something that almost everyone can do, it can be a bit dangerous. However, if you decide to do it yourself, make sure that the ladder is sturdy and in good condition before climbing it. Also, make sure not to rest the ladder on the gutters because they can collapse, which can result in a serious injury.
If you are not ready to do this yourself, or you simply don't want to do it yourself, then the best option would be to hire a professional. Instead of just cleaning the gutters, a professional should also check to see if there are any loose gutter spikes and repair them if necessary.
There are many problems that can occur with your rain gutters. If you want to prevent damage to your walls and substructure, know what to look for. Any one of the following issues, if left will cause damage. However, even a homeowner can do some basic fixes.
The first issue that is common for your gutters is simple leaking. Usually, this means the connections between individual sections are rusted. Despite protective coatings on these edges, water buildup can still eventually cause rust, or cause bulging or sagging.
Sometimes a simple adjustment of the connections may stop any leaking, but it would be better to make sure. Allow the gutter to dry out and then make sure the connections are clean. A silicone-rubber caulking found at your local hardware store needs to be used on the inside and outside of the junctions to close any leaks. Visibly small holes will need to be closed with roofing cement. A basic putty knife can be used to spread the roofing cement around any of these holes. Warm days or at a minimum room temperature will help the roofing cement to spread easier. In the case of larger holes, use a sheet metal patch along with the roofing cement under and over it.
If your home is in an area that has a very wet climate, you may want to consider utilizing a dry well system. After taking care to check local building codes, you could create a hole a minimum of 2 feet and a maximum of 4 feet wide and about 3 feet deep. A good substitute for this is a 55-gallon drum with both ends removed and buried filled with rocks. The idea is to have your underground drainage pipes slope into whichever dry well system you decide to use. It will keep the water away from the substructure of your home.
Another issue you could have is rain gutters that overflow. Again, since it is something to do with water, this could cause serious issues with substructure or the walls of your home. Overflow is commonly seen during heavy rain because the gutters are stopped up with debris, or the size of your gutter and downspouts are not large enough to handle the rainfall.
If your gutters are stopped up with leaves and other debris, cleaning them out by removing the clog areas at the outlets will clear the overflowing problem. However, if you still have overflow after removing anything that blocks the outlets, then you may need to install larger downspouts and gutters.
Sagging Rain Gutters
Materials that sag in heavy rain are most often aluminum, vinyl, and galvanized steel. Due to the weight of heavy water, the brackets at the junctions could also begin to loosen. This could cause bending to increase. If there are signs of standing water or marks on the inner sides of the gutters that is a positive indicator of sagging.
If you have a level and a ladder handy, you can make sure the gutter drops a ¼ inch every ten feet towards the ground to double check.
Depending on the type of hanger your gutters use, either spike-and-ferrule hanger or a clip gutter hanger, you may need a hammer to drive the spikes further into solid wood. A long-galvanized screw would be best if the original nail does not make it to the wood. Clip gutter hanger adjustment involves lifting the roofing material and refastening the hangers to the sheathing. This is a more work intensive operation, you do not want to create cracks or holes in your roofing!
Rain Gutter Contractor Help!
If you are experiencing issues with your gutters and don’t have the time, equipment or just don’t want to deal with it. Call your local Boise Rain Gutter experts, Gutter Boise! 208-647-0779