Gutters and Downspouts - Maintenance Tips For Homeowners
Even though it snowed today, it looks like spring will finally be here to stay later this week! Fortunately, there are steps that we can all take to be prepared for the upcoming rain showers. Read on to learn important tips to maintain your gutters and downspouts.
The best way to enter spring with confidence is to have your home inspected by C&G before the rain arrives. We are trained to identify existing issues that may lead to expensive repairs if not addressed in a timely manner. A few inches of rain falling on the roof of a house can produce several thousand gallons of water runoff which must be channeled away from the home's foundation. If excess water is not channeled away, it can quickly saturate the soil surrounding the home and make its way to the interior. Once inside, this moisture can lead to a variety of problems, including mold, wood rot, and indoor air quality problems. At C&G we inspect gutters and downspouts as part of the roof portion of each home inspection in accordance with InterNACHI's Home Inspection Standards of Practice.
Another important factor in keeping your home dry is to ensure your gutters and downspouts are maintained to operate efficiently. You can read these maintenance tips below and read the attached article for more information.
Tips For Homeowners
- Observe common-sense safety precautions (and enlist a spotter, if available) when using a ladder to reach the gutter system. Always maintain three-point contact, and don't over-reach; move the ladder instead.
- If mounting the roof, wear footwear with gripping treads to prevent slipping.
- Wear gloves to protect hands and arms from sharp debris, as well as from animals and insects that may be hiding in the gutters.
- A gutter scoop is a convenient tool for removing leaves and other debris.
- Place a garden hose in the gutters and downspouts to flush them out, making sure that the water is directed away from the home via the downspouts. This will help reduce the chances of saturating the soil around the foundation.
- Covered gutter systems may be effective in preventing excessive debris buildup, but these are not maintenance-free.
- Homeowners can install a rainwater harvesting system (if allowed in their jurisdiction) that includes a drainage mechanism to handle overflow.
- If the home is surrounded by deciduous trees, they may shed their leaves onto the roof and into the gutters. Regular tree maintenance and cleaning of the gutter system is necessary to prevent moisture intrusion problems.