With falling leaves and the remnants of summer storms, fall is an important time to inspect and clean out your gutters. Debris and water sitting in your gutters can freeze when winter temperatures drop, causing backups that can lead to ice dams and extra weight that pulls gutters away from your house. The good news is that you will likely be able to take care of simple cleaning and small repairs on your own. But when problems are more complex than piled up leaves or a leaky joint, it’s time to call a gutter repair professional.
DIY Gutter Cleaning Tips
With proper maintenance, your gutters could last up to 30 years. If you are comfortable climbing a ladder and your gutters are easy to reach, then cleaning out your gutters is a good DIY project to complete every fall. Follow these gutter cleaning tips to get your gutters in shape for winter.
- Be Safe
Safety is the most important aspect of inspecting and cleaning your gutters. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and not leaning against the gutters if they are loose. The ladder should be footed, meaning that an additional person should be holding it steady or something sturdy should be placed behind the bottom to make sure it does not slip.
- Remove Debris
You can use a garden trowel or children’s plastic shovel to clean out the leaves and debris, but you can also purchase a gutter scoop from the hardware store. It will be exactly the right shape for your gutters and is thin enough to effectively scoop out all the debris.
- Flush Out Gutters
After you have cleared the gutters, flush out the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose. The water will not only rinse out the gutters, it will make sure that your downspouts are clear, and you can spot any leaks in the process.
- Repair Small Leaks
If you notice a leak or small hole, you can likely seal it yourself. A tube of caulk costs under $10 and can be used to seal leaky joints and very small holes.
- Tighten the Gutters
Most gutters are installed using a spike that is nailed into the fascia board – a piece of wood that sits behind the gutters – at 2-foot intervals. Over time gutters usually pull away from the fascia board, increasing the chance of leaks. Use a small hammer to tap the spikes back into the wood so the gutters sit tight to your home.
When to Call A Gutter Cleaning and Repair Service
Even if an issue seems minor, a professional knows what they are looking at. They can see the problem and make the right repairs before it gets any worse. If any of the following situations apply to your gutters, you should call a gutter cleaning and repair professional.
- Too High
Sometimes, the height of a roof or placement of gutters make them difficult to reach. In this case, it is best to call a gutter cleaning service with specialized equipment and experienced tradespeople.
- Large Leaks
When you notice the joints between your gutters are all leaking or you have a sizeable hole that needs more than a spot of caulking, then it is time to call in the professionals. They will diagnose the problem and create a lasting solution.
- Rotting Fascia Board
Fascia boards are made of wood, so over time they will soften and rot to the point that they cannot securely hold gutters. This is usually a problem that needs to be resolved by a gutter professional as it involves uninstalling your gutters, removing the damaged board, and replacing the components.
- More Than 30 Years Old
With proper maintenance, gutters can last up to 30 years. But if your gutters are beyond small repairs or approaching that three-decade mark, then it may be time for new gutters. Brothers builds custom gutters on-site and at your home creating a custom fit meeting the exact specifications of your home!
- Unmanageable Leaves
If you – like many Marylanders – live in an area surrounded by trees, then it may be the best choice to have gutter guards professionally installed. Brothers installs guards that can help keep debris out of your gutters year-round.
Always do your research before hiring a gutter cleaning service. Make sure they are licensed, insured and read online reviews from the Better Business Bureau. If you suspect you need more than debris removal, hire a full-service remodeler that has the ability to repair or replace gutters.
Brothers Services is equipped for both cleaning and repairs as well as complete gutter replacement. We even design custom new gutters for your specific home on-site. Schedule a free consultation with a gutter expert and gain peace of mind this winter, knowing that your gutters are keeping your house safe and dry.