Why Does Your Home Need Roof Gutters? And How Do You Maintain Them?

Routine maintenance is essential to making sure your home’s gutters stay intact and function properly. Be sure that you don’t have any bent areas in your gutters. These can restrict water flow to some degree, but they’re also obvious visual blemishes that can make it harder to sell your home. Gutters that are clean and obviously well-cared for convince homebuyers that you’ve taken care of your residence.

Many home improvement gurus advise homeowners to clean their gutters out twice a year. If gutters get clogged up with debris like twigs and leaves, then the rainwater hitting your roof isn’t going to drain off properly. You need to avoid rainwater spilling over your gutters and landing on the ground right at the edge of your home, because this can eventually mean cracks in your foundation and even shifting of the entire home. Gutters are there not for the roof, but for the base your home sits on. You can risk anything from basement flooding to the whole home possibly leaning over or even collapsing.

It’s best for one of these cleanings to happen in the fall, but only after all the leaves have fallen from any surrounding trees. You should also do the other inspection in the spring to make sure that melted ice or snowpack from the roof didn’t accumulate shingle granules or debris of their own. When cleaning out your gutters, be sure to inspect them for rusting through or holes. Also, look out for loose nails. Make sure your gutters are still securely fastened.

Once you get all the debris out of your gutter, then you should rinse out anything left down the gutters and into the closest downspouts using a garden hose. This has the additional benefit of telling you that downspout isn’t clogged up with debris. If you discover that water isn’t running into your downspout, then you should remove it, clean it, and replace it.

Be sure that all the water coming out of your downspout is getting diverted properly thanks to a concrete or plastic diverter. You never want water spreading out onto the ground where it’s going to cause erosion to happen.

Gutter guards are growing in popularity, and help you avoid having to clean out your gutters, even though the semiannual inspections are still necessary. It’s a relatively simple DIY project that can save a lot of money over professional installation if you’re up to it.

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