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Gutter Maintenance

This is not a planter box!

By now most of the leaves have fallen and the trees are bare.  Not all of those leaves and tree debris made it onto your lawn or into the street.  They made it into your gutters and down spouts.  Most of us think leaf clean up is done once you raked your lawn and blew off your sidewalks, but this can be a costly mistake.  Our gutters allow water from roofs to shed away from the foundations of our homes preventing flooding within our home.  Below are some hints and tips to be proactive about cleaning and caring for your gutters.

1)  Gutters/downspouts should be cleaned at the end of fall and middle of spring, though fall is when you will have the most debris.

2)  Gutter cleaning most often involves ladder work.  If you fear ladders, or heights, this is probably not a DIY project for you.  If you decide to do this yourself, stay on the ladder as most accidents occur because people are cleaning gutters from their roof.

3)  Wear gloves when cleaning gutters as you never know what is caught in the gutter and most metal gutters can have sharp edges.

4)  Start by clearing the downspouts, using a high pressure hose, as this will clear standing water and make the gutter cleaning a bit easier.

5)  When the hose is not strong enough to clear downspout debris, I have had success using a small sink and bath snake.

6)  If you find loose downspout connections, use small sheet metal screws to re-attach.  Make sure all downspouts are secured to the exterior wall.

7)  Use extenders at the end of the downspouts to ensure all water is carried well away from the foundation of your home.

8)  After gutters and downspouts are cleared, use a hose to run water through gutters to ensure proper flow.  For proper flow, gutters should have a 1/4″ of slope per 10 ‘ of gutter span.  Also check for leaks at junctions(unless you have seamless gutters), sealing with a gutter approved caulk when the seams are dry.

9)  During cleaning, check to make sure all brackets holding the gutter are secure, moving, or tightening as necessary.  If water is pooling in the middle of the gutter, it probably needs a new bracket to get the right slope back.

10) In winter if a gutter area holding water, it will freeze, causing sagging due to excess weight.  It also has the potential to create “ice dams”, which can rip a gutter off, potentially damaging your roof as well.

If you need assistance, cleaning your gutters, or need other gutter repair, click the contact button to the right and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest.

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps……

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