Homeowners routinely forget about their gutters when it comes to warm weather maintenance chores. However, there are a number of reasons you should check your gutters each year so that they're in good working order and you avoid potential damage to your roof. If you're listing your home among Belleville homes for sale, you should check out your gutters to ensure they are in good repair. Here's the lowdown on gutter maintenance for the summer.
If you don't have gutter covers, you will likely need to do a thorough cleaning. You can hire the work to be done, and if you need rain gutter repair, that might be the best plan. Otherwise, put on a pair of gloves, get a sturdy articulating ladder that goes up and over the gutters rather than an extension ladder. The ladder should not be leaned against the gutters.
Work your way around the house, cleaning out debris such as sticks, leaves, and dirt. Backed-up gutters can cause rain damage to your roof; in the winter, melting and refreezing ice in the gutters may cause ice dams that can damage your roof.
Once all the debris is removed, follow these tips.
- Clean the Gutters
Take a scrub brush and some mildly abrasive soap to clean the gutters. (Test a patch to see if it will work well before you use the soap and brush.) Scrub off moss, algae, mold, and dirt. Make note of any particularly moldy or mossy patches; it could signal moisture buildup. You can also use a hose to flush out your gutter system.
Carry a bucket with you as you work your way around the house, and put the litter and debris in it. That way, you won't have to clean the ground when you're done. A drop cloth might also be helpful to catch any debris.
- Repair Damaged Gutters
If your skills are up to repairing your gutters, you may need to fill holes with mastic or address areas of rust. If the gutter sections are askew, they should be set right. Tighten gutter adherence points. You may need to replace badly damaged sections of gutters.
- Install Gutter Covers
You may have DIY skills sufficient to install gutter covers. If you do, don't forget to put in downspout protectors before you install the covers. Then, position a section of 2' X 4' as a brace against a hammer; pry out old gutter spikes, then install threaded spikes with a drill. You're then ready to snap gutter covers in place.
- Removing Gutter Covers for Cleaning and Maintenance
Even with gutter covers, it may be necessary to occasionally clean out gutters or check them for problems. The way you remove the covers will depend on the type of gutter covers you have (there are five basic types). Some guards may be screwed into a fascia board, while others just snap over the gutter system. Talk to your installer about cover removal if you're not sure how they come off. You might also check the manufacturer's instructions for removal. These can be especially helpful with semi-permanent types of gutter guards.
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