Maintaining the gutters and downspouts is an ideal way to protect your home’s foundations. It can give you plenty of savings when it comes to roof and foundation repairs or replacements. These devices direct water away from your home and its foundations, which prevent rainwater and melted ice from pooling your interiors that can cause leakages and soil settlement.
We have listed below a few simple tips to help keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear.
Gutter and Downspout Maintenance
Step 1: Remove the gutter cover.
Take off the gutter cover to give you a clearer view and better access to the areas you are going to clean. Place it on the roof while you are getting the job done.
Step 2: Check for debris in your gutters and downspouts.
Use trowels to remove leaves, twigs, branches, and other similar waste stuck in the gutter. Scrape the bottom to get rid of hardened muck and dirt.
Conduct a perimeter check and see if there are areas where water is pooling. This could mean that there are leaks in your gutter or downspout. Now, if your downspout is not working well, chances are there is a clog in it.
Check the downspout’s elbow to see if there is debris lodged in it and remove them accordingly. It is recommended to install some sort of leaf gutter protection to minimize debris from getting into and clogging your gutter and downspout.
Step 3: Check the water flow.
Grab a hose and let the water run through it to see if there are any more clogs or leaks. If you find that there are still clogs in the downspouts despite clearing the elbows, use a plumber’s snake and drive it down from the gutter opening to dislodge any remaining debris in the pipe.
Similarly, you may also drive a hose up from the bottom end of the downspout and spray water inside it. Gently tap the sides of the downspout to dislodge any stuck debris.
Simple Tips for Gutter and Downspout Maintenance
Always use a ladder. Your safety is still of utmost importance. Do not attempt to clean the gutter by accessing the roof.
Use the appropriate ladder. Extension ladders are ideal for the job as they usually get to about three feet above your gutter. A short six-foot ladder is simply not tall enough to get the job done.
Ensure the ladder is planted firmly on stable ground. Before climbing, check if the ladder has a noticeable lateral movement. Do not go up until the ladder is stable enough to support your weight and lateral movements as you clean the gutters.
Place the base of the ladder far enough so you don’t fall back as you climb up. Neither should it be too far that could lead to its base slipping off under your weight. A good way of checking for the right angle is by standing at the base of the ladder facing it and extending your arms in front of you. If your fingertips touch the rails of the ladder, then you have a pretty stable angle.
Cleaning and maintaining your gutters and downspouts should be done at a minimum of twice a year to keep it in great condition. As simple a task as it is, if you are physically unable to perform it, it is still best to call in a professional to help you.