How to Prepare Your Gutters for Fall
Fall in Rochester is absolutely beautiful. The humidity of summer has finally broken, the nights are getting cooler, and the trees are decorated in vibrant hues of red and gold. But despite the picturesque version of fall that we all love, once the leaves begin to drop we’re faced with a long to-do list for home exterior upkeep.
Maintenance should be performed on your gutters twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall. You may feel that cleaning your gutters can be put off until later or even skipped entirely this season, but waiting too long to clean them out can actually create much larger, more expensive problems in the future. Clogged gutters can lead to damage on your roof, fascia, and even the foundation of your home.
In order to avoid the worst case scenarios, basic maintenance will keep your gutters functioning as they should. Following these tips will help keep everything in working order and prepare your home for the colder months ahead.
Clean Your Gutters Thoroughly
Step one is to get up on a ladder and remove all leaves, twigs, and other debris currently in your gutter system. Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from any surprise sharp objects! Once the large objects have been removed, break out the hose and flush any remaining small debris away. Be sure to wash away any algae and mildew buildup as well. Not only are these organisms ugly on your gutters, but they can deteriorate the materials more quickly if left unchecked.
If your gutters aren’t draining correctly, then you most likely have a clog in a downspout. In order to fix this, you’ll need to disassemble that part of the system, flush out the clog with a hose, and reattach the piece back into its proper place. If you’re not comfortable or find the process too tedious, consider hiring a local handyman to help.
Examine Gutters for Any Damage
Once the gutters are clean, you’ll be able to more clearly tell if anything is truly broken or just clogged or dirty. Damage is most likely to occur after a big storm, so take a closer look if your home has been subjected to intense weather since the last time you inspected the gutters. Staying on top of your own inspections will help to prevent more intensive maintenance being needed in the future.
In order to make sure you check absolutely everything, consider making a checklist of different issues to look for. Common types of damage may include loose screws, uneven sections of the gutters, visibly excessive wear and tear, gutters pulling away from the house, sagging gutters, or loose downspouts.
Make Any Necessary Repairs
After you’ve identified any issues with the gutters, the natural next step is to address them. Patching any cracks or holes in the gutters now will help prevent leaks from forming later on. Never underestimate the power of water; even a small leak may lead to water or other debris seeping into your foundation or basement and causing intensive damage.
Consider fall the season to prepare for winter. With freezing temperatures, the season brings a variety of other problems. Rain, ice, and snow are all heavy weather that puts strain on your gutter system and will make any weaknesses much worse. You want to plan to go into the colder months of the year with a strong, sound gutter system that will withstand anything the weather may throw at it.
Trim Tree Branches
Your trees have been growing slowly all spring and summer and you might find that you now have a branch that extends directly over your gutter or roof. While raking up leaves is just part of the season, trimming your trees can help prevent too much debris from ending up clogging your gutter system.
Keep in mind that arborists have one of the most dangerous jobs there is, so do not try to trim any branches that are too large, out of reach, or outside of your experience and comfort zone. If you need help cleaning up your tree branches, call a tree service expert like Woodeez Tree Service to handle it.
Prevent Pests from Moving In
As the weather begins to cool and eventually grow cold, all of the little animals who make their summer homes in the ground are looking for warmer shelter. Your gutters might be a very appealing tunnel to wildlife! Mice, rats, squirrels, and even possums and raccoons may all cause issues with your gutters if left unchecked.
Be sure to do your research before choosing the rodent repellent that’s best for your family and lifestyle. If you have dogs or cats on your property that you don’t want to be affected, you may want to pay special attention to pet-safe products. Coat your entire gutter system with your repellent of choice.
Install Gutter Guards
Oaks Construction recommends and installs Leaf Relief® by PlyGem. This system strengthens the gutter as well as protects it from leaves and other debris from getting into the drain. Leaf Relief offers a self-cleaning design that virtually eliminates maintenance.
Contact the Professionals
If you’re not experienced with gutter maintenance, think a project is a bit too large to DIY, or come across severe damage, it’s time to call in the experts. There’s a chance that your gutter system is beyond a simple repair and may even need to be entirely replaced. Experienced gutter service teams will be able to accurately diagnose and repair the problem, whatever it may be.
Putting off hiring the professionals could cost you more in the long run. Your gutters will not get better by ignoring the problem and you may be one harsh storm away from serious damage to your home. Once your gutters fail, your landscape, exterior of your home, and even your interior will be at risk.
Be Prepared for Fall and Winter
It’s incredibly important not to neglect fall maintenance on your gutters. As the seasons change and more intense winter weather is ahead of us, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.
When it comes to gutter repair or replacement, Oaks Construction has superior product knowledge and are the most qualified installers in the area. Our team is happy to take a look at the condition of your gutter system and provide an assessment and free estimate for our services.