The weather is cooling, the squirrels are frantically gathering nuts as they plan for winter, and the leaves are changing in the Delaware Valley region! Just like the squirrels, homeowners need to start thinking about the change of season and what they need to do to be ready. In the next few blog posts we will go over some home maintenance chores that should get done before the winter weather sets in.
This week we are focusing on gutter care and maintenance, as well as a possible home upgrade! The build-up of debris, leaves, and sticks in your gutter system can lead to serious problems if not addressed regularly.
Why You Should Clean Out Your Gutters
When gutters are clogged, the water may pool at the roofline causing seepage under the roofing material. This water infiltration may damage the sub-roof or even enter into the attic or walls. This can result in a leaking roof or mold and rot damage. Water that cannot travel through the gutters and into the downspouts will overflow and pour down wherever it is able. Without functional downspouts, water won’t be directed away from the foundation of the house and may seep into the foundation and basement, or cause erosion and damage to landscaping.
During the freeze and thaw cycles of the winter, the water produced by melting ice and snow needs to be quickly directed away from the home before the next freeze comes. Water that turns to ice expands, so water that remains pooled in the gutters or at the roofline can cause serious damage to the roof or gutter system when temperatures dip back below freezing. The same process can occur near the base of your home as freezing water near the foundation can weaken or even crack the structure.
How to Clean Your Gutters Properly
Clean the gutters of your home regularly, preferably twice a year. After the leaves and twigs fall down, remove debris by scooping them out. Then rinse the gutters with the hose to make sure water is flowing out well. Downspouts can be removed and flushed out.
If you have asphalt shingles on your roof take note of any colored sand or grit you see in the gutters. This grit is a normal part of the surface of the asphalt shingle and acts to protect the shingle from UV damage. Too much buildup of this material means it’s time to do a more complete evaluation of the roof.
While you are there make sure to check that the hangers holding up the gutter system, as well as the brackets on the downspouts are secure. Look for any sections that may need replacing. Make sure that your downspouts are diverting the water at least 5 feet away from the foundation. If not, consider getting some downspout extensions.
Upgrading Your Gutters
Cleaning and protecting your gutters and downspouts keeps your home’s roof and foundation healthy and strong. It helps prevent unwanted and expensive repairs in the future and gives you peace of mind so that you can relax and enjoy the changing seasons.
Gutter guards can really cut down on the amount of leaves and debris that can make their way into your gutters and downspouts. Gutter protection also extends the life of your gutters, helping the exterior of your home maintain its structural integrity and aesthetics.
Gutter protection systems, like the ones available from Advance Inc., can make your seasonal maintenance much easier and less labor intensive. Request a free estimate through our website or contact us today to learn more about our services. We are happy to help!