How to Protect and Maintain Wooden Gutters

What You'll Need
Garden hose
Shingle oil
Stain or paint
Protective gloves
Protective eyewear
Utility knife
Empty bottle of liquid laundry detergent
Caulking gun

Wooden gutters are a beautiful part of any home or business. Once only found on historical homes or buildings, they are now being made and used by those who appreciate them. Being such a decorative and important feature, caring for wooden gutters is crucial. The maintenance involved can be time consuming and costly. Weather is the number one destroyer of wooden gutters. Keeping your gutters protected, not only adds to the life of the gutter, it also allows them to work properly. When cared for appropriately, their look, life and performance can be amazing. Here are some of the things you need to keep them in tiptop shape.

Step 1 – Cleaning

Keeping wooden gutters clean is crucial. Cleaning should be done at least twice a year. Clean the gutters once in the spring and once in the fall. You can clean them out by hand, but a scoop is more effective.

Step 2 – Making and Using a Scoop

Take an empty liquid laundry detergent container, cut off the bottom, but leave the handle. This will allow you to remove water as well as debris. Clean the entire length of the gutter, making sure all downspouts are clear. Wash out the wooden gutter with a water hose. This will allow you to see if your gutters flow properly. Allow the gutters to dry completely before moving onto the next step.

Step 3 – Seal Cracks

Look for cracks throughout the gutter. Any cracks are in need of repair. Use caulk to seal them. You need to make a smooth surface. After putting the caulk into a crack, wet your finger, and smooth out the caulking. If you apply the caulking in a sloppy manner, the caulk will catch debris as it flows through the gutter.  Allow the caulk to dry, before moving on to the next step.

Step 4 – Treat the Inside

While wooden gutters need protection, you should not paint the inside of the gutter. A good rule to follow is to paint the outside, but treat the inside. Painting the inside of a gutter will leave a film. This film will deteriorate over time and create places where water and debris can be trapped under it. Treat the inside with shingle oil, which penetrates the wood and leaves a smooth surface.

Step 5 – Rinse

Wait for a day or 2 before moving on this step. Do a final rinse on the wooden gutters with the garden house. Allow water to run through the gutter, while visually examining the flow. If your water builds up, or does not flow properly to and through the downspouts, you need to correct this. Debris can and will build up during the cleaning or maintenance your gutters, no matter how clean you work.

Step 6 – The Outside of the Gutter

The outside of the gutter can be stained or painted with a high quality waterproof paint. The only rule to follow here is to not paint the inside of your wooden gutters.