Let’s face it: nobody likes cleaning their gutters. On your daily “To Do” list, the idea of getting out the ladder, donning gloves and scrounging through muck for an hour probably enjoys a permanent spot right near the bottom. That said, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that properly maintaining your home’s gutters is the kind of simple upkeep that costs so much more the longer you put it off.
At Bailey’s Roofing & Construction in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, we help homeowners throughout Southern Oklahoma to clean and maintain their gutters all year long. Very often the problem has gotten so bad that the professional experience of a Bailey’s technician is truly needed. But all that many homeowners need is the basic maintenance know-how that they can use to protect their gutters and their home themselves.
Here’s our quick guide for how to maintain your gutters throughout the year.
Step One: Inspecting Your Gutters
Using a ladder, inspect the full length of your gutter for signs of wear. Things to look out for include loose fastenings which allow the gutter to sway or pull away from the house, splits in the metal which may leak, or patches of rust. Loose sections of gutter may be easily fixed by tightening or replacing the fastenings. Tiny holes from rust or corrosion can be patched with roofing cement. Large holes or cracks are not fixable, and the gutters should be professionally replaced.
During your visual inspection, also look out for pools of water. These indicate that the gutter is not properly draining and may be angled incorrectly. Ensure that all gutters angle toward the spout and that water drains entirely. This is most easily checked in the hours after a moderate to heavy rainfall.
You should inspect your gutter system at least 4 times a year, ideally after a rainstorm has put stress on the gutters.
Step Two: Cleaning Your Gutters
Working slowly and carefully, use a small trowel to scoop and sweep debris out of the tracks of your gutters. For particularly tough clogs, it is sometimes easier to use your hands, for which thick gloves are recommended for safety.
After making a complete pass of your gutter system, select a middle point between each downspout and use a garden hose to spray water through both directions at full pressure. Water should drain briskly from the spout. If it does not, this means that your downspout is clogged. Spray water from the ground level up the spout and allow pressure to build to dislodge the clog. If this doesn’t work, a long narrow stick, like a broom handle, or a plumber’s snake may be used. Otherwise, consult a professional and consider replacement.
You should clean your gutters with every inspection – just make it part of the process – and put special attention to you gutters during the fall and winter with falling foliage is more likely to lead to clogs and other performance issues.
When to Call the Experts
Improperly maintained gutters can lead to home damage, roof rot, foundation cracks, and pest invasion. If your gutters are obviously broken, cracked, sagging, or rusting, or if you don’t feel comfortable or are unable to perform the necessary maintenance, it’s time to call an expert like Bailey’s Roofing & Construction. For over 20 years, we have been Southern Oklahoma’s #1 choice for honest roofing and exterior services, including gutter installation and maintenance. Call us at 405-343-8847 to schedule an appointment today.