Follow These 8 Gutter Maintenance Tips to Save Money
Keeping your home’s exterior maintained is crucial to prevent excessive and expensive future repairs.
Regular maintenance is also essential to maintain curb appeal and to keep up with your home’s value.
Part of your home’s exterior maintenance includes taking care of your gutters.
We recommend you complete gutter maintenance annually.
It’s imperative to ensure your gutter is not blocked where water can accumulate, which would systematically cause the collapse of the gutter and possibly damage the roof, especially the shingles.
To properly maintain your gutters, you need the right tools.
In particular, you will need a small wire brush.
When the gutter is dry, you can use a wallpaper brush.
It is strongly recommended not to clean the gutters by rinsing them with water since this could cause the dirt to spill into the pipe and clog it.
Cleaning the gutters is always to be done when they are dry.
How to Clean Your Gutters
1. Remove leaves and debris
You will need a ladder, gloves, and a way to capture the debris.
Some homeowners use a bucket, while others lay a tarp near the house and push debris into it.
If you prefer to work from the ground, you can use an expandable gutter cleaner or a leaf blower with a cleaning attachment.
However, to inspect the condition of the gutters, you must use a ladder.
Most people prefer to use their hands to clean gutters effectively.
However, you can use a few tools, such as a spatula or a small plastic shovel.
If the gutters are clogged with debris, it is best to call in an expert to avoid breaking the gutters while trying to dislodge the debris.
2. Clean up mold and algae
Gutters that drain slowly or are clogged are likely to develop mold.
Mold tends to wear away the protective coating on gutters and can even get into the house!
Use a chlorine solution and a sponge to scrub and remove any visible mold and algae. Any household chlorine cleaning product can be used.
3. Remove rust
If there is rust on the outside of the gutter system, a scrub pad or rust remover may remove it.
In addition to being unsightly, rust can weaken gutters.
Eventually, sections that have developed rust will need to be replaced.
If this is the case, then it is a good idea to choose a less corrosive material for a new gutter, such as aluminum or copper.
4. Check performance and locate leaks
Once the gutters are free of debris, mold, and dust, they should drain cleanly. Use a garden hose to pour water down the gutters.
Ensure the water is flowing freely with each downspout, which is an excellent time to check for leaks.
Check the entire gutter system, paying particular attention to the joints of the sectional gutters. Use hi-vis tape to mark the spots that leak.
Once you have identified the leaks, you must seal them.
If there are multiple spots that leak, it may want to consider replacing the entire gutter system.
Small leaks, especially at seals and end caps, are easily repaired.
How to Fix Gutter Leaks
1. Choose the material
You can seal vinyl, aluminum, or steel gutters with specially designed gutter caulk that can later be painted to match the gutters’ color.
Be sure to avoid silicone caulk that you will not be able to paint or reapply.
A caulking product based on butyl rubber, urethane, or polymer is best.
If you have copper gutters that need to be repaired, it is best to call in a professional.
This type of gutter is a long-term investment while applying caulk is a short-term solution.
A professional will solder the copper gutters to seal the joints and repair the holes.
2. Clean and let the gutters dry
After cleaning the gutters and removing all debris near the leaks, allow the gutters to dry.
Seal the leaks while the gutters are still wet causes the caulk not to apply or dry properly.
Fortunately, we have many sunny days in the RGV to seal your gutters.
3. Remove the old sealant
Old sealant should be removed near leaks, especially if the leak has occurred at the joint.
Spray caulk remover on the old caulk and wait for it to dry before removing it by scraping it off with a utility knife or other sharp tool.
4. Apply caulk
Cut off the tip of the caulk tube. Place the tube in a caulk gun and apply the caulk to the hole. If you need to repair a joint, apply the product first to the joint and then around the joint.
Attempt to cover the joint or hole in one application, but enough to cover only the leaking area.
Be sure to read and follow the caulk manufacturer’s instructions regarding the minimum diameter of caulk you will need to apply.
We hope you found this article helpful. Let us know if you would like a FREE gutter inspection and recommendations for your gutter maintenance needs.
Cleaning and maintaining gutters is not an easy job.
And it makes sense to have your roof cleaned at the same time. Contact us at (956) 358-4000 for all your roof and gutter maintenance needs.
We are here to help.