Your gutters are often the most underrated area of your home, yet are one of the most hardworking. They effectively divert water away from your roof and direct it away from the house and prevent a host of structural damages.
HOW THEY WORK
By channeling water through your downspouts, water is prevented from pooling around your basement, damaging your foundation, and eventually weakening everything that supports your home’s structure.
Other areas of your property that are protected from damage include:
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTENANCE
While your gutters are an ongoing support system, they tend to fade into the background until something goes wrong. Often times they become clogged with debris such as:
- Small tree branches
- Grit from shingles
- Pine needles
- Birds’ nests
These blockages can lead to water buildup and freezing up in the winter. This can also happen when snow freezes before it can melt, although this situation is more apt to happen in areas that have a longer, snowier winter season.
When they become clogged, the extra weight places enough strain on them that can lead to gaps, holes, or a pulling away from their original placement.
KEEPING THEM CLEAN
Regular cleaning helps prevent blockage with debris and allows you to inspect them for any possible structural damage. Proper inspection and maintenance can also save you quite a bit of money by preventing future costly repairs.
It is generally recommended that cleaning be done twice a year, once in the spring and once again in the fall. Depending on any extreme weather during any particular season, you may have to check on them a little more frequently. Here are some exceptions to consider:
- An exceedingly dry season – If you have had little precipitation and heavy winds, your gutters are less likely to have accumulated as much debris or sustained any damage. It’s still important to inspect them, but you may not have to clean them as often.
- An increase in wildlife activity – If some of the trees you have planted have grown taller or if you have seen evidence of a growing wildlife population, you may need to do more inspections. Three or four times per year may be necessary to keep out tree debris, birds, and even insects from accumulating.
THE GUTTER CLEANING PROCESS
This can be dangerous without the correct knowledge, tools, skills, and experience, and it is recommended that you leave this task to the professionals.
If you choose to go ahead with it yourself, be sure that you are in good health and have someone there to assist you. Avoid loose-fitting clothing that can catch on any protruding edges or pants that are too long and create a tripping hazard. Always wear shoes with good traction, safety goggles, a dust mask, and work gloves. Use a trowel, in addition to wearing gloves, when scooping out debris to minimize your risk of injury.
All of your home’s components and features should be working together to protect it from wet weather, decrease energy loss, and increase curbside appeal. The experts at Double J Siding and Windows are second to none when it comes to installing seamless gutters, along with siding, doors, and windows, and they understand how all of these things work together to protect the integrity of your home’s structure. Contact them today to discuss your home’s needs.