Wednesday, September 17 2008
With all the storm damage we had, it is important to make sure that the gutters on your home have not been damaged and make sure the gutters are not clogged up. The article below has helpful hints as to how to clean the gutters.
Clean Gutters Can Protect Your Home
It can be really easy to overlook the gutters on your home! You may not even think about cleaning them until they’re no longer doing the job they’re meant to do!
Keeping your gutters clean is a important part of home maintenance! Clogged gutters can cause the water to overflow and keep your porches wet causing rotting and they can destroy a flower bed that’s placed near your home.
Keeping your gutters clean can also protect your siding from water stains. Another important job that gutters perform is to protect your homes foundations! Water standing around your home can eventually cause your foundations to sink!
Fall of course, is the worst time of the year for your gutters becoming full of debris. It’s recommended to clean gutters in both the spring and fall.
Dead leaves are the main cause of clogged gutters and they should be cleaned each spring even if you don’t clean them any other time of year.
Using a water hose to clean your gutters may seem like a easy fix. But, using a water hose will result in all of the dead leaves and debris being washed into the downspout and stopping it up!
Be extra careful when setting a ladder up to clean the gutters, leaning it against the gutters will bend them. You can purchase an attachment for your ladder that will keep it off the gutters.
You can use some heavy duty rubber gloves to remove as much of the dead leaves and debris that you can. To prevent a mess in your yard, either take a small bucket up the ladder with you, or spread large sheets of plastic out to drop the debris on.
As you’re cleaning the gutters, take notice of any loose or missing nails and replace them as you go. This is also a great time to check the braces holding the gutter in place to make sure that they’re still secure!
Clean out as much of the debris as you can by hand. Then you can use a water hose to wash out all of the dirt and grime. As you’re washing the gutters out, check the water flow in the downspout to make sure that the water is flowing freely.
If the downspout is stopped up, you may be able to flush it out with the water hose if you have good pressure. But, if the water hose don’t clear the spout, you’ll have to remove the screws and brace to take it loose to clean it.
Once you’ve gotten the downspout loose, you may be able to shake it as you’re running the water hose through it to jar the debris loose. If that doesn’t work you’ll probably need to use an auger to loosen the dead leaves from the downspout.
After you’ve got the downspout completely cleaned out and the water runs freely, check it for any damage. You will also need to make sure that you scrape the old adhesive off while it’s still apart.
When reattaching the spout you need to apply a silicone sealant around the top portion to hold the two pieces in place and make it water tight. You want to apply a solid line of the sealant all the way around the entire spout.
Replace all of the screws and any braces that may have been holding the downspout on to the gutter. Follow the directions for drying time on the sealant and then spray water into the gutters to check for any leaks.
Small leaks in your gutter can be temporarily repaired with roofing cement. You will need to clean as much of the rust off as you can and then spread the cement over the hole with a putty knife.
The roofing cement isn’t a permanent solution, but it may add another year or two the the life of your gutters. Larger holes will have to be repaired by replacing the whole gutter or that section of it.