Give Gutters A Chance: Ways That Homeowners Can Help Gutters Do Their Job

If you want to avoid potential property damage from water, make sure to take care of your home's gutters. These troughs carry the water from your roof and the elements, guiding it safely away from the walls and foundation of the home. Give your gutters a chance to do their job by keeping them maintained and damage-free.

Some ways to help your gutters include:

Periodic cleaning. Make sure to keep your home's gutters clean, just as you would the exterior walls, windows, or outbuildings of your property. Use a pressure-washer, or simple garden hose, to force water in and out of the troughs; add a small amount of dishwashing detergent if desired. Watch where water leaves the troughs to identify any potential leaks or cracks.

Routine clearing. Use a plumbing- snake to clear the troughs out, especially in the spring. Leaves, trash, and debris can build-up and cause a blockage that forces water over the side of a gutter. Over time, this could lead to staining on your exterior walls or mold growth if the water is able to seep in cracks or crevices.

Quick action. Repair or replace sagging segments before they become problems. When a segment of your gutter becomes loose, it can break-free during wind or weather and potentially damage your property- or a neighbor's. Watch for sags and quickly repair and reinforce them before a crisis occurs.

Directed downspout. Check your downspout so you aren't flooding your basement. Many homeowners may maintain their gutters, but often forget to double-check where the downspout is pointed. If it becomes askew or points in the wrong direction, you could inadvertently flood your basement or crawlspace.

Added reinforcement. Make an annual habit of reinforcing the segments of your gutters, and tightening up the screws that connect each segment together. Use the existing holes to replace the hardware, or put a couple dots of caulking over the screw to seal any cracks and tighten any looseness.

Rain chains. Invest in rain chains for decorative and effective touch to the gutter system. These often-ornamental chains hang from the gutter system, and serve the same purpose of a downspout. The water loses some of its force as it cascades down the chain, creating a lovely illusion that lends to curb appeal.

Give your gutters a fighting chance at preventing water damage; keep your gutters clean, clear, and maintained so that water can be detoured away from your structure. Talk with roofing specialists, like Leon Construction, regarding new gutter systems or roof repairs as needed, and check with hardware retailers to find basic supplies to clean, clear, and protect your gutters.