During the summer, rainstorms can seem to pop up out of nowhere. It is important that your home is ready for them. One of the most important parts of your home is your gutter system. If your gutters aren't in tip-top shape, they won't be able to properly drain the water off the roof and away from your home. This can lead to extensive damage to your home and roof, which can be costly. So, to make certain that your gutters are ready to withstand these summer storms, here are four steps that you need to take:
1. Remove Any Debris
Your first step is removing any debris from the gutters. You can remove sticks and leaves by hand or with a short hand broom, if you'd like, or you can get onto the roof and use a long broom to sweep them out. By removing the debris, you will be ensuring that water will be able to flow freely through your gutters in the future.
To help prevent debris problems in the future, you may want to consider installing gutter guards. They are designed to be placed over the top of your gutters. Some of them, such as gutter screens, have small holes in them that allow rainwater to enter into your gutters, but keep leaves, twigs, and other debris out. Others are solid covers that simply have a slit in them to capture rain runoff but deflect debris. Overall, gutter guards help to minimize clean-up on your end as well as clogged gutters.
2. Spray the Inside Out
Aside from just removing the debris, you also want to take the time to use a water hose with a sprayer nozzle or a pressure washer (on a lower pressure) to spray the inside of your gutters out. If you run into any hard-to-remove dirt, you can use a soft-bristled brush. Also, to really help clean the interior of your gutters, you can use a white vinegar solution (white vinegar and warm water). Before you add it to your gutters, plug your downspouts and cap off your gutters. Add the solution to your gutters and allow it to sit for about an hour. After you drain it, make sure to rinse your gutters thoroughly.
Basically, this process is allowing you to remove any dirt that has become stuck to the gutters over time. This just ensures that your gutters are completely clean and that nothing is clogging any holes, cracks, seams, etc. so that you can move forward with the next step with no concerns.
3. Check for Leaks
While you're cleaning the inside of your gutters, this makes for the perfect time to check your home's gutter system for any minor or major leaks that need to be repaired. You need to make sure that your gutters are draining properly. If they're not, you need to know exactly where the problem is so that you can repair the problem. In many cases, it will be a hole or crack in the gutter that can be repaired with roof cement and possibly a piece of metal flashing.
4. Inspect the Hardware
Over time, components of your gutters will wear down – not just the gutters themselves. For example, the pieces that hold your gutters in place and attach them to the roof could wiggle themselves loose. This may result in a loose gutter. These pieces will need to be reattached or replaced if they're damaged. It is important to regularly inspect all hardware on your home's gutter system to ensure that optimal structural integrity at all times.
Contact a gutter contractor, like Mr. Gutter, for more help.