What is there to know about gutter cleaning and repair? For one, the fact that it’s super important in order to properly maintain your home.
There’s so much you have to do in order to keep your roof in good repair. You’ll need to replace roofing shingles, watch for leaks, and more. The one thing you may not have thought about is your gutters. They’re an essential line of defense for the roof, and if they’re blocked or broken, it can spell disaster.
Here’s why taking care of the gutters is so important, and what you can do if anything goes wrong.
The Importance Of Your Gutters
Your guttering is designed to redirect rain water away from your roof and down into the drains. As you already know, water is the number one enemy of your roof. If it gets in, it can cause water damage like leaks, mold, and rot. If left for long enough, it can necessitate you having to replace the entire roof itself.
Usually, your gutters will be able to handle anything the weather throws at them, but over time they can start to encounter problems. Like the rest of your roof, problems can build up and worsen, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Here are the two biggest problems and how you can solve them.
The most common issue homeowners will have to deal with is blockages, when it comes to their gutters. This typically happens when debris is swept into them, and builds up over time. Usually, these will be things like fallen leaves, swept in by the wind.
You wouldn’t think this would be a problem, but over time that debris will pile up and start to block the gutters. If it’s blocked enough, the water will spill over back from the gutters onto the roof. That will allow it to stand and seep into the roof itself, causing problems such as the ones described above.
There’s also the issue of ice dams. These happen when snow melts off a roof because heat is escaping the home through it. Once it rolls down to the gutter, it’s stopped by blockages and refreezes. That ice dam builds up over time, again allowing water to sit on the roof rather than flow away.
How To Deal With Blocked Gutters
If your gutters are blocked, what do you do? It’s not too difficult to handle, luckily. All you need is a ladder, a pair of gloves, and a trash bag. Simply scoop up the debris sitting in your gutters into the trash bag to unblock it. Don’t forget to check your downspouts too, to check if anything got in there.
There are ways to avoid this from happening, so you won’t have to unblock the gutters manually again. One of the best ways to solve the issue is to use a gutter guard. These are usually a mesh or a brush that sits in your gutter. They allow water to move through, but they won’t allow anything larger in. They’re a good way to protect gutters and something that a lot of homeowners are using right now.
Also, take a look at the trees on your property. Are any of them close to the house? If so, they can easily lose leaves on the roof and in the gutter. A good way of stopping this from happening is to prune the branches back, to keep some distance between them. If the trees are too close to the house, you also have the option of removing them entirely. That will not only stop the issue with the blocked gutters but also remove the risk of the tree falling on the roof itself.
You may also experience issues with your gutters as they age, or take on damage during storms. The gutters themselves can take on cracks and holes, allowing water to run through. The brackets holding the gutters onto the soffit may also start to come away or break entirely. These are things that you should be looking out for when you’re checking your roof during maintenance checks.
If you do see these problems, you’ll need to solve them right away. Again, because water can’t flow down the gutter as designed, it’s going to cause more problems. It may run down the walls or onto the soffits, again leading to mold, rot, and water damage.
How To Fix Broken Guttering
There are several ways to fix damaged gutters, depending on the problem at hand. If you find any leaks or holes in the gutter itself, they can often be patched up with caulk. This works best with smaller cracks and holes that can be easily sealed. If they’re larger, then it’s best to replace that section of guttering entirely.
As for guttering that’s coming away from the wall, you’ll need to check the brackets and the soffit that they’re connected to. If the soffit hasn’t taken on water damage, then you’ll be ok to refasten the gutter to it, to put it in the right place. If the soffit is suffering damage, then it may need to be replaced.
As for the fasteners on the brackets, they will need to be replaced in order to firmly connect the gutter to the wall. You can find guides as to how to do this online, or you can hire a roofing expert to take care of it for you.
Calling For Help
Are you unsure as to how to care for your gutters? Maybe you can see what the problem is, and you’re not sure how to fix it. If this is the case, then you can call on an experienced roofer to help you out. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem, and then help you put it right. It is worth having an expert on hand to help you with your gutters.
Gutter cleaning and repair are so important when it comes to the health of your roof. Keep an eye out when doing roof checks, and if you see any problems with them, correct them as soon as possible.