Mind the Gutters: Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Gutter System
When you look at that beautiful home at the end of the street, its detailed landscape, it’s premium roofing, sleep paint jobs, and front door walkways, the last thing you see is the gutters of the home. It’s not a part of the architecture we usually stop and admire, but its function is highly important for a well functioning home.
The Function of Gutters
The gutter system in your home usually serves three important functions: water management, foundation protection, and roof protection. The first one has to do with diverting water away from your home. When it rains or snow melts, it falls off the roof and a well-installed gutter system will drive that water away from your property so there is no moisture seeping in. The gutters will redirect water to a designated place where it can be absorbed back into the ground. The second function is related to the diversion of water away from your home’s foundation, thereby protecting it. If there were no gutters the moisture might gather on top of your roof or in places of the roof that would then see considerable damage. That’s why the third main function of the gutter system is to protect your roof.
The best bet with your gutters is to do regular maintenance so that you are constantly monitoring how they are working and whether there has been a clog or a problem along the way. If you live in a place where there is a lot of rainfall and especially snowfall, you want to perform winter maintenance to ensure that your roof is up to the task.
Clean the gunk: Doesn’t sound very fun, but it is very necessary. Depending on the state of your gutters, you might want to hire a professional. If you do not see major problems, you might be able to complete the task yourself. Make sure to find a sturdy ladder, gloves, and a garden trowel or gutter scoop. Inspect the corners and junctions which is where a lot of debri, leaves, and gunk gathers. First, remove the large debris with a trowel and dump it in a bucket or other container. Depending on the temperature outside you can finish the job with the hose. This is to clear out finer materials. Start at the end opposite the down spot. Make sure the water drains, otherwise you may have a clog in your downspout.
If you suspect this is the case, you can get some pressure going on the hose and shoot it up from the bottom of the downspout. If that doesn’t seem to work you can also use a plumber’s snake to get out some of the bigger debris that may be causing the clog.
Check for structural damage: You can also check the siding and foundation for signs of stains, rotting, or other visible damage from moisture. The fascia is the board mounted where the roof meets the outer wall and carries all the gutters; without a good functioning gutter, it can absorb moisture and cause more trouble.
You also want to check that the downspouts are diverting water far enough away from the home and water is not pooling around.
Seams and Anchors: As gutters withstand snow and rain the anchors that hold them in place can lose strength or become vulnerable. You want to make sure that your gutter is strongly secure.
Keep Your Mind On the Gutter
While it might not seem like a pressing issue, ignoring maintenance on your gutter system can certainly be cause for concern in the near future. Don’t compromise your home’s structural integrity and keep your mind on the gutter this winter. If you notice any problems or looking for a professional to inspect your gutter, call A D Roofing today. It’s what we do!