Like any other on-going home maintenance, rain gutter cleaning and maintenance is essential in keeping up the appearance of your home, to prevent structural damage to your home’s exterior, and to maintain the value of your home.
There are essential basic maintenance tips that can help to keep your rain gutters functioning properly for many years. Rain gutters that become obstructed or develop leaks can ultimately contribute to problems with mold, and could be the cause of fascia board rotting, erosion of landscaping, and even water seepage into the foundation. Or, worse yet, flooding in your basement.
Like any other home maintenance, upkeep and repair of your gutters, when performed on a regular basis, can keep these gutters working as they should. A semi-annual check of your gutters in the fall and spring of the year will prevent many problems. Foliage around your gutters can cause blockages. Leaves from trees whose limbs extend over--or near--gutters can fall into these gutters in the autumn of the year. Even unexpected debris such as leaves from surrounding properties or toys tossed on the roof, can contribute to cause gutters to overflow from melting snow and from rainfall, creating potential hazards to your home and property.
If you do find that you have a problem with a lot of debris becoming trapped or collecting in your gutters, you may want to consider purchasing a gutter guard. The gutter guard prevents the collection of leaves, branches, and other debris from collecting in your rain gutter and preventing rain water drainage.
What to Watch For
When doing your semi-annual rain gutter inspection, here are a 7 things to look for:
- Missing nails or screws that secure the gutter to your roofing. These should be replaced.
- Clogs in your gutters caused by leave and other debris.
- The downspout not directing water away from the exterior of your home when it leaves the downspout. If the water is not being directed away from the house, a downspout extender can prevent water from seeping into your foundation.
- Improper gutter sloping that can cause failure in water draining from the roof. Gutters must have the right sloping if rainwater is to drain through them properly. Over time, because of broken supports, sagging structures, or other unexpected changes, gutters may have lost their needed angle of slope. When broken, they may need to be adjusted so that rainwater runs through them quickly, rather than pooling and spilling over the edges of the gutters.
- Gutters damaged by ladders that are leaned against them by the homeowner who wishes to inspect his roof or even the gutters, themselves.
- Cracks, rust, or peeling of gutters.
- Fascia boards of your home that may have become overly dry, rotted, or damaged.
All these factors can contribute to the failure of your rain gutters to channel water draining from the roof. Gutters and should be checked out and repaired on a regular basis.