Clogged or damaged rain gutters divert water under roof tiles and into basements which can lead to expensive water damage. If you take some time to schedule regular gutter maintenance you can help prevent this.
When to clean rain gutters
Ideally, you should aim to clean out guttering at each let property twice a year, once in the autumn and again in the spring. Falling leaves, twigs and other debris clog rain gutters in the autumn, while wind, snowfall and ice damage gutters over the winter.
Gutter cleaning tips
Choose a dry day with minimal winds. You’ll need to use a ladder, so avoid cleaning gutters on a day when the ground is soft and wet. For safety, where possible you should have a second person with you to hold the ladder.
Start cleaning gutters around downspout holes, starting at the bottom, which is where the most debris builds up. You should remove all debris. You might find messy and unpleasant surprises when cleaning the gutters; therefore it’s best that you wear protective gloves and clothing.
Once you remove the debris, flush the gutter with a garden hose, again starting at the bottom. If you start from the top you could pack any remaining clogs tighter. This helps detect areas where there may be standing water and blockages in downspouts. DIY fixes to common problems
DIY fixes to common problems
Standing water can indicate that the gutter slope may need to be increased, or that a section of guttering has loose brackets.
Check sagging gutters for loose bracket nails or spikes. You should screw the existing nails back in or replace with new screws if needed. Loose spikes may need to be removed and screwed back in close to the original hole. If you do need to do this, you’ll need to seal the original hole with gutter sealant.
Look for signs of rust, holes and leaks. You can remove surface with light sanding. If rain gutters are rusted through, the entire gutter may need replacing.
Professional gutter maintenance
If you're not comfortable cleaning the gutters or you have a number of properties to manage, you can arrange for professional gutter cleaning to come out and inspect the guttering for you. Paying someone for cleaning gutters can be cheaper than fixing the damage a clogged or sagging gutter can cause.
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