Five Summer Tips for Gutter Maintenance
Gutters are an important element of any home’s foundation and structure. Gutter maintenance is just as important as the gutters themselves. A well-maintained gutter system prevents water from leaking into your home and causing extensive damage. With regular maintenance and attention, a gutter system can last 20-30 years. In Atlanta, summer is the perfect time for gutter cleaning and repair because the weather is warm and the gutters are easier to access. Here are five tips to help you with your gutter maintenance during the summer.
1. Cleaning – Summer brings thunderstorms, nesting animals and fallen leaves and branches, all of which can clog gutters. Clogged gutters prevent water from flowing off the roof and can lead to standing water, overflowing water and leaks. Standing water attracts mosquitos and other insects and can eventually rot wood. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year to prevent an accumulation of debris and other material from clogging the system.
2. Sloping – Gutters should be sloped towards the downspout, about 1/8 per foot to keep water flowing. If not sloped properly, water will collect in the gutters and can eventually overflow into the house’s structure. Overflowing water is the main culprit of basement leaks. A gutter readjustment will restore the gutter’s slope.
3. Repair leaks
4. Gutter guards – Gutter guards close off the ends of the gutter and place a screen over the top, making it difficult for animals, insects, leaves and other unwanted pests to get in. They can be installed by a professional and will prevent clogging and related-issues. Gutter guards will also make routine cleaning easier by eliminating excess leaves, sticks and animal nests that often find their way into uncovered gutters.
5. Repair sagging gutters – if you notice your gutters sagging, they may be on the verge of collapse. Gutters sag from the weight of debris or they may not have been installed properly. A broken spike or hanger may be the cause, and either of these can be repaired by installing new hardware.