Gutters do a lot in helping to protect your roof and grounds from the ravages of weather and the environment. In fact, if you don't take some basic precautions and do a little bit of gutter care every once in a while, you can easily find yourself needing to replace either the gutters, your roof, or even possibly find yourself needing to do some major repairs to the walls or foundation. There are only a few things that you need to do in order to make sure that your gutters are in good working order, follow these guidelines to make sure that you are doing them.
- Periodic cleaning. On the average, you should only need to clean your gutters twice a year. The best times to do this are usually after the spring thaw, and right around the time of the first frost. By doing some cleaning after the spring thaw, you will be able to free the gutters from any debris that may have gotten caught up with the snow of winter. The late autumn cleaning allows you to prevent the formation of ice dams that comes from having clogged gutters.
- Look for sagging. Once a month or so take a walk around your home and just look at the gutters. If you notice any sagging, or buckling, make note of it right away and repair them as much as possible. One of the most common reasons for sagging gutters is that a nail has come loose somewhere. Replace the nail with a screw, and you won't have to make the same repair for a good long while.
- Look for leaks. At the same time that you are looking for any sagging, keep an eye out for signs of leaks. Common signs of leaks include discolorations on the walls of your home, as well as rust. If you do find any leaks, repair them as quickly as possible. A good way of repairing the leaks would be to use some waterproofing caulk in the area of the leak.
- Inspect the rust. Rust can often be a sign of huge problems, or only a little bit of cosmetic work. The most effective way to tell is by rubbing the rusted area of the gutter with a little bit of sand paper. If the rust comes away, and you are left with a clean and rust free area then you simply need to paint that area of the gutter to help protect it from future rust. However, if the rust doesn't go away, then you will need to replace the damaged section of gutter with a new section.
- Use gutter guards. Install some gutter guards along your gutters to help protect them. After all, the best defense is a good offense, and this applies with gutter care as well. By installing something as simple as a mesh netting over the tops of your gutters will help reduce the need for cleaning, potential clogs, and therefore leaks, that you may find yourself faced with.
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