After a harsh winter or a turbulent summer, gutter cleaning and repair work should be addressed. We’ve covered gutter cleaning in many posts and even have a free cleaning guide you’re welcome to download.
Why is gutter cleaning and repair important?
Gutter cleaning and repair is something that most people choose not to think about until they absolutely have to. Like in the winter when they slip on ice made from water that runs off the roof. Or watch as waterfalls pour down the sides of their house in the spring whenever there is a heavy rain.
This may be too late for gutter cleaning and repair, as water damage to your roof or basement is hard to stop once the water is already there. Done at least twice a year, gutter cleaning and repair can save a lot of damage to your home.
We recommend giving your gutters a thorough inspection. At a glance, the gutters may look fine – except for a few leaves. But if they are in a state of disrepair, we can suggest our new copper technology gutter guards that you won’t find anywhere else. This is because we weave 99.9% pure copper wire into a 316 stainless steel filter. This gives you a gutter guard that will keep your gutters oil and debris-free for years to come.
Or you can start on your gutters and cleaning repair this weekend.
But how many people consider repairing their gutters while they’re cleaning? Probably very few. And yet with a few fixes that will cost you less than $13, you can keep your gutters in prime working order.
What happens when you don’t? Your gutters can start to pull away from your home, which causes water to get behind the trough designed to safely pull water away from your home. You can wind up with big problems, leaks that damage your siding, your paint job, your foundation–get the gist?
Here are ways a “stitch in time” can save you from very costly damage to your home.
Super Fixes for Gutter Cleaning and Repair
- Hidden Hangers. Whether you have an older spike and ferrule gutter hanger or more common hidden hangers, if you find a section of gutter that’s started to pull away from your fascia or rafters, fix the problem with a hidden hanger or two. Hangers screw into your fascia rather than nail in, which means a better fix for your gutters. Cost? About $1 each.
- Sealant. Gutters can leak everywhere there is a hole in the metal or in places where there are seams in the gutters. Even if you have “seamless” gutters, consider gutter runs end somewhere or even change direction. For the cost of a tube of Sealant (we recommend Geocel 2300, under $13 per tube) check every end cap, downspout, inside or outside corner and reseal any seams you see. If you have an old spike system, look at how the spikes were driven through the gutter. Often, they’ll be installed at a downward angle and, if the gutter backs up and fills with water, water will seep through these locations. Water damage can occur at locations like this, so to the extent you can seal these nail holes, you can minimize damage. One thing to keep in mind is to remove all the old caulk before resealing or you can wind up having to fix the issue again.
- Screws. Often, gutter installers will use cheap zinc screws during a gutter installation. These screws tend to discolor and disintegrate pretty fast, so changing out the screws for stainless steel ones might keep downspouts in place longer. Screws, even stainless steel, are often a few pennies a piece.
- Downspouts. Speaking of them, making sure they extend far enough away from your foundation to where they can move water to where it can do no harm. Often, anyone mowing the lawn will move them and they may have lost the final elbow or the extension off the elbow may be too short. A new elbow and a few feet of downspout will cost you less than $10 per downspout needing attention.
- Straps. Gutter cleaning and repair takes a lot of toll on your downspouts! Often, the straps that hold them to your home can come loose. For less than $3, you can install new, stable straps so that they won’t become loose and fall off your home completely.
When doing any gutter cleaning and repair work, be sure to look at the condition of the trough of your gutter. If you see pitted aluminum, realize years of poorly cleaned gutters have caused the gutter to age prematurely. Pitted aluminum is the first step of the gutter rusting through. You should consider replacing your gutters shortly. Since gutter cleaning hasn’t been a top priority, as you research new gutters for home improvement, consider protecting the new ones with a micro mesh gutter guard like MasterShield.