Stop Ignoring Your Gutters
Gutter maintenance is essential in the fall. As the trees drop their leaves they get caught in the eaves troughs, which doesn’t allow rain to drain properly. Debris and pooling water it may sound innocent, but it can lead to holes and leaks, or much worse: a wet basement, leaky roof or interior and exterior water damage. This fall, get your gutter game on with a few straightforward steps.
Cleaning your gutters is a job for two. Make sure your spotter is strong; they need to be able to hold the ladder and to ensure it doesn’t slip. Only use a sturdy ladder, and do not lean it against the gutters. The pressure created by the combined weight of you and the ladder may cause damage.
Remove Gunk & Debris
To protect your lawn and landscaping, spread a tarp underneath your workspace. Use a garden trowel, plastic spatula or children’s plastic shovel to scoop out leaves and debris. This is a messy job, so you may also want to wear gloves. When gutters are mostly clean, use a garden hose to flush the gutters and downspouts, and clear any lingering remnants. This will also show you if you have any leaks.
Repair Small Holes & Leaks
If you discover a small hole or leak during cleaning, you can probably fix it yourself with a little sealant. Use a tube of caulking to seal joints and small holes. Refer to product guidelines for effective application. If you find your gutters have pulled away from the fascia board, tap the spikes back into the wood with a small hammer. When the gutters sit tight to your home, it eliminates further leaks.
Clean Off Surface Stains
Ensuring water flow in your gutters is important, but removing unsightly stains on the outside surface of your eaves troughs adds curb appeal. These black streaks are a combination of dirt and asphalt being washed off your roof as it breaks down over time. A simple solution of water and white vinegar works well to remove these stains, and it won’t corrode aluminum. To remove stubborn stains, make a cleaning paste by adding a small amount of water to cream of tartar.
When possible, avoid cleaning gutters after it rains. Allowing the debris to dry out makes cleaning the gutters much easier.