Winter is here in full force, so it’s likely you’re spending lots of time indoors where it’s warm and cozy! However, if you want to enjoy that quality time, you need to make sure your home’s outer features are in good shape as well, like your gutters. After all, when you’re enjoying yourself, the last thing you want is to have to deal with the consequences of clogs — especially when it’s very difficult to find a professional to come and fix the damage during the peak of the winter season.
Consequences of Damaged Gutters
Gutters are designed to catch rain and meltwater and lead it off your roof and away from your home. This ensures the water doesn’t damage your roof, siding or foundation. However, if a gutter gets clogged, water damage is just around the corner. Water backs up in the gutter, and when it freezes, it expands. This can make the gutter crack and warp, and when the ice melts again, the water leaks through the damaged parts. Without repairs, this can cause significant water damage.
How to Maintain Your Gutters
The best way to avoid damaged gutters is to maintain them properly. Since nobody wants to spend the holidays standing on a ladder in the cold, it’s best to get started early, Keep the following tips in mind:
1. Clean out your gutters. As long as the gutters aren’t frozen, you can clean them out. This goes a long way to preventing the buildup of clogs. To do this yourself, you’ll need a sturdy ladder, gloves, and a gutter scoop. For safety’s sake, it’s best to have someone hold the ladder for you, but if this isn’t an option, at least make sure someone’s at home in case you need help. When you’re securely positioned on the ladder, start scooping out the debris from the gutter. Work your way all around the roof, paying special attention to corners and joints. Once you’re finished, dispose of all the debris in your compost bin.
2. Check the gutters for damage. After cleaning out the gutters, it’s time to inspect them for damage. Make sure they’re all firmly attached. If necessary, tighten up any bolts to secure them. In addition, look for faulty seams, cracks, holes, or other damage that could leak water. Another tell-tale sign to look for is water damage on the siding.
3. Repair or replace any damaged sections. If you find any damage, repair or replace that specific section of the gutter as soon as possible.
4. Install gutter covers. Gutter covers aren’t a guarantee against clogs, but they certainly help. You can buy them at most hardware stores. Follow the instructions on the packaging to install them.
The sooner you perform proper maintenance on your gutters, the more they’ll be able to withstand the challenges of winter weather. Because holidays or not, rain, sleet, and snow are bound to come at some point — and when they do, you can enjoy yourself without worrying about the possibility of leaks and water damage!