Once the spring arrives, a lot of homeowners start a variety of outdoor chores. But with all the property maintenance activities that stack up during the spring season, it’s very easy to fail to remember about cleaning the rain gutters. Don’t neglect this important routine! If you don’t eliminate the debris from your gutter system, you could be facing some roofing, siding or foundation issues in the future, be it sooner or later.

A functioning gutter system can protect your home from water damage as it is designed to drain the water from the roof and direct it away from the building. But if your downspouts or gutters are blocked then water will most probably start to affect the building and cause damage to the roof and siding.

That’s why periodic inspection and maintenance can reduce the necessity for gutter repairs and replacement. One of the most significant issues that we encounter with gutters is that problems are not visible. From the ground it is extremely difficult to see the inside of the gutter. Consequently, most issues with built-up debris are discovered only when it is too late and damage is already manifesting, sometime aggresilvely.

Leaves that block the gutters are the most prevalent issue and building up along with dirt and other kinds of debris broght by wind get to clogging the gutters. This makes the water back up over the top and damaging the fascia board, then the decking, the rafters, and in some cases the foundation of the home itself. Or maybe you’ve had the experience of gutters that have begun to pull away from your home or maybe you need to push those spikes into gutters to keep them from falling off the home. These kinds of problems will tell you the facsia board has been affected and it’s the time to check it and fix the problems before they get worse. The more you wait before solving them, the damage will actually be accelerated, causing even more destruction.

An uncomplicated method to examine the gutters is to go out and check the downspouts during a rainy day. In case the water is evacuating normally from the downspouts then the gutter system is fine. But if the water isn’t flowing easily through the base of the downspout or if you see water overflowing around the edge of your gutter then there are definitely pieces of debris clogging the gutters or downspouts. Please note a light rain will probably mask the problems as there might not be enough water to overflow so you might need to wait for a moderate or heavy rain to go out and check.

However, you don’t have to wait until the gutters are clogged and you start seeing the effects of the water damage. The most effective solution to issues with your gutters, visible or not visible from the ground, is to clean them regularly. The majority of the debris comprises tiny leaves and twigs that can be removed by hand if you get on a ladder, using a narrow garden trowel or a gutter scoop to scoop out loose debris or using a handheld leaf blower or a dry vacuum. In some cases even a plumber’s snake will be able to break up some stubborn clogs in the downspouts, pulling out the debris from the bottom or, in some situations, pushing it through from the top.

Another method is flushing the gutters with a garden hose and water but note that this will only remove dirt and small particles as it might not be enough to move heavier pieces of debris. Try to avoid splattering mud 😉

You may also consider investing in a gutter cleaning tool to make your work easier and of course, if you’re not keen on cleaning the gutters you can always call a gutter cleaning company to do it for you.

If your property is located in an area where there are a lot of trees then you might need to inspect and clean your gutter system more than once a year. Don’t despair, consider it a necessary regular activity that will help maintain your property as it will avoid developing water damage that could cost you more than your time and effort to clean the gutters once in a while.

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