The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Getting Your Gutters in Shape for Spring and Summer

 April 5, 2021 |  Home Maintenance, Safety, Cleaning Tips |  spring, summer, roof, home exterior

Your gutters do a lot of work to protect your home, and it’s essential that they’re in top condition. Heavy rains, harsh sunlight, and time all take a toll on the effectiveness of your home’s gutters. As we approach the wet part of the year, one of the things at the top of your spring cleaning list should be to prepare your home’s drainage system.

Check for Winter Damage
If you experienced a deep freeze over winter, your gutters could’ve been pushed to their limit. The weight of snow and icicles can cause them to bend and pull away from your house. Freezing rain and hail can also create dents and holes in gutters and affect how well they funnel water. As it starts to warm up and things begin to thaw, go outside and thoroughly examine your gutters. Check for holes and any signs that your gutters are coming loose. Take note of small issues and keep an eye on them, as they could become larger problems in the future.

Clean Debris Out
To get a better understanding of how well your gutters are holding up, you’ll first have to give them a good cleaning. Scoop out leaves, twigs, animal nests, and whatever else may have found its way into your gutters. You should check your downspouts for blockages as well to prevent water backing up. If they’re really full of gunk, it might be beneficial to hire a professional cleaning company. They’ll be able to remove that stuck-on grime and make your gutters look like new.

All About Angles
Making sure your gutters carry water far enough away from your home’s foundation is important. If they aren’t keeping water away, a mild rainfall could turn your front yard into a mud pit and cause flooding and foundational problems for your home. Normally you won’t know you have a problem until it actually rains, but creating your own storm using a hose can give you a good idea. Always go with the grade of your property to let gravity do the work of moving water away from the base of your house. Sloping the downspout correctly will keep it from puddling up and potentially save your lawn. If the bottom end is too short, a simple extension will do the trick.

Cut Overhanging Limbs
A good preventative measure to limit the amount of debris that falls into your gutter is to trim back branches. Low-hanging branches are a sign that the limb is ready to give way, which can cause serious damage to your gutters and your roof. Pruning every so often will help maintain a safe distance between your home and any surrounding trees.

Consider a Guard
Installing a guard will cut down on the amount of debris that gets into your gutters, meaning less maintenance for you. Leaves and twigs won’t be able to pile up and create miniature dams, leading to water accumulation that causes rust. Pesky rodents and other animals will have to find somewhere else to make their home, which decreases the chance of them finding a way inside yours. A quality guard runs on average between $1,000 and $2,000, but they’re a worthwhile investment.

Check for Other Signs
As you conduct your maintenance check, watch for other signs of damage that may have popped up. Overflowing gutters can lead to water damage on your roof and form a breeding ground for mold. When you scoop out the junk from your gutters, take note of what you find. Bits of shingles can be an indicator of an aging roof and an issue you need to act on. If you notice larger bits breaking off into your gutters, don’t wait to call a professional for repairs.

Call NPI
Your gutters are a major component of your home, and when they fail, things can go wrong. A professional home inspector from NPI can look at every part of your home to help you make an informed purchasing decision. Schedule your inspection today!

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