Fall is in the air, and while autumn brings lovely weather and colorful landscapes, it also means it’s time for home maintenance projects. Autumn signals it’s time to prepare for storms in the winter months ahead, so gutter cleaning and repair should be a priority to prevent a leaky roof and water damage to your home.
A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can be a recipe for disaster, not only leading to moisture issues, but creating a nice home for mold, pests, rodents, and beehives.
Avoid these challenges by following these tips for cleaning gutters.
1. Clean Leaves and Debris Out of Your Gutters
The first step is to clean leaves, branches and other debris out of your gutters. You can use an old plastic spatula, which won’t scrape the gutters, and a plumbing snake to pull clumps of wet leaves out of clogged downspouts. Give your gutters a high-pressure spray down, then clear by hand any extra debris. For the ultimate clean, fill a bucket with warm water and soap, pour it into your gutters, then wipe them down with a sponge!
2. Check Gutters for Damage
Once your gutters are squeaky clean, check for any damage that may have occurred during the last storm or since you last cleaned them. Check for loose screws, leaks, uneven sections, and any other wear and tear. Look to see if the gutters are pulling away from the house, if they’re starting to sag, or if the downspout is loose.
3. Complete Necessary Repairs
If you identify damaged areas during your inspection, be sure to make repairs in a timely fashion. Any leaks due to cracks and holes that weren’t filled in can lead to water or other debris seeping into the foundation or basement of your house, potentially leading to major issues. Rain, ice and snow during fall and winter can lead to even more leaks, cracks and holes, so it’s best to go into the season with all repairs completed.
4. Trim Trees and Use Rodent Repellent
Tree branches grow in the summer months and can end up directly over your roof or gutters. As the wind picks up, leaves, nuts and seeds blow onto your roof and into gutters, potentially causing clogs. Even worse, tree limbs could break off during storms and strike and damage your gutters, soffits and fascia. The cooler weather also means it’s time for rodents to seek warmth and shelter, and the concave of your gutters make for a nice home. Once you’ve cleaned and repaired your gutters, coat them in rodent repellent to keep the critters away.
Fall is here and winter isn’t far behind. Clean your gutters now to ensure they’re ready for the chilly seasons ahead!