It seems that in every season the weather can take a toll on your home’s exterior. Whether it’s afternoon downpours in the summer, falling leaves in autumn months, or heaps of snow in the winter, our houses can take a beating. Maintaining the exterior of your home is an important precaution to make sure that the elements stay outdoors instead of making their way in. Your gutters are an important part of the process — yet many homeowners often forget about them.
If your gutters aren’t working properly, there is no way they can do their job of directing water and moisture away from your home. Read on for the four most common problems with residential gutters and how to fix them.
Clogging is hands down the most common issue when it comes to gutters. Many people don’t realize just how much debris ends up on their roof and eventually in their gutters. Set an annual or bi-annual date to clean out your gutters, or hire a specialist to do this for you. If your home is surrounded by trees, you might even want to make this a task that you schedule every six months.
Since most of us tend to head indoors when it starts to rain, you may not notice at first if you have leaky gutters. If you’re curious or suspect your gutters may have leaks, test them. Using a ladder, position a garden hose so that it feeds into the top of your gutter system. Run the hose and walk the periphery of your home to identify any leaky areas. Small cracks can be fixed with a bit of sealant. If you find that you have long cracks throughout your gutter system, it may be time to replace it altogether. Of course, you might not feel comfortable or safe testing your own gutters, in which case you should definitely hire a professional to do it for you.
You never want to see gaps between the side of your roof and your gutters. With time, gutters can start to separate from the roof, creating these gaps. This is especially common if gutters are clogged, as the added weight of wet leaves and debris will cause them to sag. A good way to prevent this is to periodically walk the periphery of your house and look for places where gutters have come detached from the roof. You can reattach them with new fasteners and screws or nails, or hire a professional to make sure your gutters are securely fastened.
All gutter systems should be slanted so that water runs from a high point to a low point and away from your house. This slanting is called the pitch. If your gutters are not properly pitched, water will collect in them which could lead to damage to your home. While small problems with pitch, say if gutters got slightly repositioned during a storm, can often be fixed by hand, if the entire system is improperly pitched you’re best off calling in an expert.
Finding a Qualified Gutter Specialist
If you’ve neglected your gutters for the past few years, or if you aren’t comfortable accessing your roof to maintain them, consider hiring a qualified gutter specialist. A qualified specialist will be able to take care of routine cleanings as well as provide advice on when it’s time for new gutters. Make sure to hire a specialist with experience and exemplary customer satisfaction to ensure the job is done well.