Did you know the rain gutter market is worth $702 million? It’s no secret that they’re essential for your home and its health, which is why they make up such a huge part of the roofing and construction industry.
Gutters protect your roof from debris and runoff during the stormy season, and they can keep ice from forming in unwanted areas during the winter, so kets take care of them! Is gutter maintenance something you can take on for yourself, or should you hire someone to do it?
Luckily, we’re here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about gutter maintenance.
Clear Out Debris
When caring for your gutters, the first step you should take is clearing out debris. Not only can extra clutter lead to overflowing gutters, but that overflow can then lead to leaks in your roof and other areas.
To start clearing debris from your gutters, though, you should begin with your roof. Remember safety first during this step, and to never go on your roof when it’s wet, icy, or even windy. On a sunny day, grab your ladder and a rake or leaf blower and clean off your roof. Then you can move on to your gutter cleaning.
Don’t Forget Downspouts.
While you’re cleaning your gutters, you should also tend to your downspouts and any other pipes leading away from your home.
If you notice water pouring out of the extension pipe leading to your downspout, there might be a problem with the seam itself. You can try reconnecting the attachment to see if it helps, but it could be an issue with debris if it doesn’t.
To clean your downspout, you have two options. You can remove it and clear out the blockage, or you can snake the pipe itself to allow water to flow freely through the spout and away from your home’s foundation.
Test Everything for Leaks
Once everything is cleared, it’s time to test for leaks and other debris. Here are the few parts you should inspect during this step:
- Gutter joints
If you spot any holes here, it’s best to patch them up as soon as you can with metal flashing or a gutter patching kit. In some cases, you can also apply sealant or caulking to small holes to fill them in. Sealant or caulking are going to be best for joints as well.
If you notice rust, though, it might be time for a replacement. If you take this step, remember that gutters made of aluminum, copper, or vinyl aren’t prone to rust like other materials are. Remember to call in a professional so you can ensure your replacement is done right the first time.
Get an Inspection if You Need It
If you can’t access your home’s gutters easily, a professional gutter inspection might be the answer. This is the smarter move to make because a professional will see things like mistakes made during installation, your gutter’s overall life expectancy, and other potential problems the system could be facing.
Not only will they be able to detect these problems, but they’ll also be able to fix them and make them right without any guesswork.
What Happens if Gutters Aren’t Maintained?
If your gutters are left unmaintained for too long, bad things can happen. Here are a few potential problems you can encounter.
One of the primary functions of your gutter system is to keep water away from the foundation of your home. Water can erode the soil around its foundation, leading to a lot of expensive repairs down the line.
Your foundation isn’t the only thing left susceptible, in any case. It can also mean trouble for driveways, sidewalks, and other finished surfaces.
A decent gutter system is also an investment in protecting these surfaces, as the soil is a lot less likely to shift or erode due to rain or snow runoff.
Another big problem you put your home at risk of is basement flooding or other leaks. Preventing problems here can stop things like mold and mildew from becoming a significant issue later down the line.
In your basement, it can also help preserve walls that might otherwise be at risk of moisture and fungal growth. On your roof and in other areas, it can lead to leaks, ruined insulation, and mold or mildew in other areas of your home.
Standing Water and Pests
The biggest thing you save yourself from in the summer months, though, is standing water. Water doesn’t have anywhere to go when your drains are clogged, so it sits inside the leaves and other debris in your gutters. As a result, mosquitoes and other pests can linger and breed in your gutters. If you notice mosquitoes, it’s a good idea to check this area, as well as empty pots, kiddie pools, and any other container holding standing water.
Sure, mosquito bites are annoying, but they can also lead to diseases like Malaria or West Nile Virus, putting everyone in your home at risk. The problem is easy t0 avoid by ensuring your gutters stay clean.
Stay On Top of Gutter Maintenance This Season
As the spring approaches, so will the rain and extra wind. It’s easy to forget about gutter maintenance when you’d rather be preparing your garden or enjoying the sun. Still, it’s an integral part of maintaining your home’s wellbeing.
Without proper care, your gutters can begin harboring mold, pests, mildew, and it can eventually lead to clogging.
If you’d rather leave your gutters to the professionals, though, Blue Nail Roofing can help. Contact us today to get started.