The return of falling leaves, heavy rains, and gusting winds means it’s once again time to make sure your gutters are in top shape.

Before You Get Started

Before you get to work on your gutters, here are a couple quick safety tips to keep in mind.

  1. While inspecting your gutters for glogs and loose sections, please use extreme caution and have a second person on hand any time you mount a ladder.
  2. Try to schedule your gutter inspection and cleaning duties for a period without rain, because it’s easier, safer, and less messy to remove dry materials than wet ones.
  3. Avoid working near or even too close to power lines attached to your home; the risk of injury or death is too great.

How Often Should I Clean the Gutters?

With or without a leaf protection system, plan on cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year. If there are a lot of seed-producing or pod-dropping trees growing near your home, be prepared to clean out your gutters more frequently. Leaf protection systems work best with steeply sloped roofs. If your roof has a gentle slope, this type of system might need to be cleaned and inspected more than usual.

Why Clean the Gutters In The Fall?

Completing the task of clearing out your gutters is especially important now, in the fall, because free-flowing gutters help your roof move ice-melt away from the gables, where it might otherwise lead to ice dams. Ice dams often occur when trapped ice melts then rapidly freezes again, creeping up under shingles and into the sensitive underlayment materials below. Ice dams are infamous for causing considerable damage. Avoid them at all cost.

Don’t Forget The Downspouts!

Downspouts are just as important as the gutters themselves, as they’re designed to lead water away from both your home’s foundation as well as its more sensitive wooden elements. If a downspout becomes clogged with debris, it won’t be able to redirect water and snow-melt fast enough to keep it from leaking into your home. Check the area where a downspout exits from the bottom to the gutter for loose or missing rivets, replacing any problem areas with new rivets. Improperly attached downspouts can damage siding if they tear loose.

Poorly Installed and Neglected Gutters Are No Fun!

Water and ice can be heavy, so make sure your gutters are securely attached through the fascia board to the rafter behind it using the appropriate hardware. Neglected gutters clogged with ice and rotting vegetation have been known to tear loose from their moorings, damaging houses and even injuring persons, pets, or property located below. Since leaks can lead to the buildup of ice at ground level, plug holes or gaps in leaky gutters using an all-weather silicone putty.

I Finished Cleaning My Gutters – Now What?

Once your gutter cleaning duties are finished, grab an umbrella and go outside on the next rainy day to check for overflows, blockages, or other problem areas. Hopefully, you won’t find any! For professional help with cleaning or repairing your gutters, contact the roofing experts at AROCON Roofing and Construction.