At Alpine Gutters & Downspouts, we wanted to share a few tips on important summer maintenance for healthy gutters giving you pointers on how you can keep your gutters and downspouts running smoothly all year long. As you might know, maintenance plays an important role on how long and how well your gutters function, so do not delay, when it comes to these important and straightforward tasks.
Why is it so important to clean your gutters? Well, gutter systems play a significant role in keeping water, snow, and ice away from your home’s interior and surroundings. If water works its way into the home, the damage can be irreversible and supremely disappointing. Standing or stagnant water is also a breeding ground for mosquitos that could potentially carry the Zika virus. Let’s not forget, that gutter systems can be expensive, so if you properly maintain these systems, you can look at getting at least 20 to 30 years out of them, and that is worth the effort!
Here is a checklist of what can be done to help get you started:
CLEAN: This may be the most important factor to maintaining your gutter system. You will need to get rid of all debris such as leaves, twigs, nests, pests, needles and muck. Grab a small soft brush and soap to gently scrub away dirt, and in the meantime check for damage to the system. Carry a marker with you to mark the points of concern so that a professional can have a quick guide as to where there may be a problem. Next, you need to grab a hose and pour water down the gutters and the downspouts to check for any leaks. Check your roof at this point to see if there is any damage, as the roof and the gutter system usually works hand in hand. Remember to visually inspect the entire system for any weak areas.
CHECK THE SLOPE: Gutters need to be sloped towards the downspout at about 1/8″ per foot to keep the water flowing properly. Improper slopes are generally the cause of leaks entering the home, so if you are unsure, have a professional check it out. That could be a grave mistake made if overlooked!
PROPER DRAINAGE: Ensure that your system is draining well, away from your home or landscaping. If you see any pooling or standing water, this will need to be addressed immediately to avoid sidewalk and driveway damage, plant and tree damage, and even roof damage.
REPAIRS: Have a professional like Alpine Gutters & Downspouts come in to do any necessary gutter repair. Sagging gutters could mean an improperly installed system, needing attention immediately, as it could collapse. You can fix a leak quickly by applying silicone caulking or adhesive, but remember, you may need some reinforced components installed to ensure it lasts through the winter months. It is never a good idea to hastily cover up the problem, as the repair usually won’t make it through a season.
GUTTER GUARDS: These will most definitely make your life simpler in the long run. You may want to consider a few systems out there, generally coming as screens, inserts or reverse curves. One such system is the Leaf Relief system. This system virtually eliminates maintenance and is completely weather and pest resistant. They will fit standard gutters and are available in a variety of material options. Leaf Relief will always keep water flowing and never clog or overflow, is 100% effective in keeping leaves, debris, and pine needles away, and it comes with a 10-year warranty. Check out our page on Leaf Relief to get a better understanding of why we offer this phenomenal gutter protection system.
You have many options for gutters and downspouts out there, so if you are looking to replace an old or worn out system, summer maintenance for healthy gutters includes doing your research on what gutter system you can afford and which style will work well with your lifestyle and home. From seamless gutters to K-style gutters, half round gutters, and a variety of materials such as vinyl, aluminum, copper, steel, zinc and more, you will never be short of ideas for what will work and look best for your home. Sit down with our professionals to go over all the questions you may have.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN: This depends on your area, and the degree of weather patterns during the year, but a general rule of thumb is to have gutters cleaned twice a year at least. The initial cleaning should take place in late fall when most of the leaves have fallen and winter in on its way. And the second cleaning would be in the spring or early summer when pollen and flowers are abundant. Anyone living in a heavily wooded area may find they have to clean 3 to 4 times a year. It is important to examine and visually inspect your gutter systems often and thoroughly.
If you do plan on cleaning the gutters yourself, be sure to have a safe and sturdy ladder, preferably a spotter to hold it, and the proper attire, such as gloves, sturdy footwear, eyewear, a bucket to collect debris, and a scoop of some sort to clean. Remember to not lean the ladder against your gutters which is dangerous and may cause more damage.
HOW MUCH FOR A PROFESSIONAL GUTTER CLEANING? The length and type of gutters, as well as the height of the home, are going to affect the cost of a professional gutter cleaning. Most companies charge a flat fee per foot of gutter, but the price can rise depending on how difficult the job is.
Summer maintenance for healthy gutters is a breeze with the help of Alpine Gutters & Downspouts. We are the gutter professionals since 1977, and our expertise in this industry has made us a leader in the area for all gutter home protection needs. We always suggest calling a professional gutter company for cleaning, repairs and even new gutter installation, because it can lead to dangerous conditions and even avoidable injuries. Call us today for a free quote and leave the gutter cleaning to us!