Rain gutters are the unsung heroes of your home. Gutters and downspouts divert rainwater away from your house to protect the foundation, siding, windows and doors from damage.
But for your gutters to work effectively, they need your help. New homeowners can be inexperienced with gutter care and often don’t think about it until issues start to arise.
Gutters generally require cleaning at a minimum of twice a year, usually at the end of fall and the end of spring. If you have lots of trees around, you may have gutter runs that clog even faster. The shorter the gutter run, the more easily it can clog as well. Ensuring your home has the proper water management prior to winter, the frequent spring rains and the heavy summer downpours can save you a significant amount of money that long-term water damage might cause.
First, you should familiarize yourself with the type of gutter on your home and get an idea of what kind of commitment you’ll need to make. The most popular type of gutter is aluminum because it tends to be cheaper and relatively easy to work with. A vinyl gutter is also a good option because vinyl tends to be long-lasting and can be the most user-friendly when it comes to repairs. If you have a steel gutter, you might have your work cut out for you since these are prone to rust, despite their durability.
When you’re finally ready to clean your gutter, there are a few essential tools you’ll need. One of the most important is a sturdy ladder, preferably one that can be supported on its own. You should also wear heavy work gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from any sharp or otherwise dangerous material that might be clogging your gutter.
Clean your gutter thoroughly. The bigger stuff, such as leaves and sticks, will be the most obvious and most likely to cause blockage, but scraping out all of the smaller stuff can significantly improve the quality and lifespan of your drainage system. Check your downspouts as well. You can drop a pebble down each one and, so long as you can hear it bouncing to the bottom, you’re good to go.
Once you’re done cleaning, it’s a good idea to check your gutter for leaks by spraying a hose through each gutter run. Take a rag and stuff it in the downspout, allowing the gutter to fill with water from the hose. Anywhere there is an endcap, a hole for a downspout or a seam, watch for dripping water. Don’t just caulk over the existing sealant – cut it out and start from scratch with a new, non-silicone sealant once the gutter trough is completely dry. If it’s a large leak or you don’t feel comfortable patching it yourself, it might be time for professional help.
If all this ongoing gutter care just isn’t for you, MasterShield’s patented micro mesh gutter guards can prevent clogs by keeping debris out of your gutter to begin with.
Our advanced micro filtration technology lets water flow through your gutters and into your downspouts while at the same time stopping all leaves, pine needles and that small spring debris from budding trees from ever creating problems. Best of all, the MasterShield gutter protection is self-cleaning, giving you more time to spend on more important things like your growing family or a soccer or golf game.
With any new home something can crop up that will demand your attention, and with the frequency that it can be something related to your gutters, you’re best off eliminating cleaning and clog problems for good.