Gutters can often be overlooked but are a very important system that protects your home. Their purpose is to redirect rainwater away from vulnerable parts of your home, ensuring that water never deteriorates a structure or causes unnecessary damage to your home’s foundation, basement, interior or exterior. When debris or leaves begin to collect, gutters can clog. Or if gutters become damaged or weren’t properly installed, they can leak, overflow, and drain improperly. These mishaps can lead to water-caused erosion around the foundation, causing small cracks to form, which could eventually lead to an unstable foundation. One of the best ways to prevent costly water damage repairs to your home is through regular maintenance of your gutters. Here are some things you should know about gutter maintenance.

How do I know if my gutters are properly installed?

Gutters should be set up so that all water runoff leads directly into a gutter. Gutters should be designed so that water is routed away from the structure, allowing for proper drainage and ensuring that the structure isn’t damaged because of water runoff.

Check for unhealthy symptoms

For optimal gutter performance, get your gutters fixed or replaced if they are showing any of these symptoms:

  • Stains on the underside of eaves
  • Presence of rust
  • Bubbling paint or rust on underside of gutters

Look for signs of improper flow

Water should flow into the gutters and then away from your home. To check for signs of improper flow, use these steps:

  1. Examine eaves and look for any timber rot because of a leak. If you find a leak, you can fix them with silicone sealant or specialized tapes found at local hardware stores or call a professional for help. If you’re deciding to get new gutters now or anytime in the future, consider seamless gutters as they have many advantages over other types of gutters. Formed with only one piece of tubing and with no joints, they result in less leakage and will save you a lot of time on maintenance.
  2. Look inside the gutters, scrape away dirt and see if there are pools of water, as this may mean the direction of flow is off. Standing water in your gutters can freeze in the winter, causing ice dams to weigh down your gutters or causing them to pull away from your home.

Look for signs of gutter overflow

Check for stains around the windows, on walls or ceilings as this can be a sign of gutter overflow. Gutter overflow usually occurs when your gutters are broken or clogged, holding water at your roof instead of moving it through the gutters and away from the structure. Here are some reasons this may be happening:

  • Debris or leaves clogging the gutter
  • Not enough of a slope towards the downpipe
  • Blocked downpipes or drains
  • And overload on the roof’s drainage system
  • Too much rust
  • Improper installment

Get your gutters cleaned twice a year

Consider getting your gutters cleaned twice a year, either by yourself or by professionals. And if you have a lot of trees close to your home, you may want to have them cleaned more often. This frequent cleaning will keep your gutters from getting clogged. Don’t forget to clean the downspout, too, by using a long-handled brush and hose with a high pressure nozzle. Consider installing leaf strainers that prevent debris from entering and clogging in the first place.

Don’t overlook this part of your home. Gutters, when working efficiently, can keep your home safe and prevent expensive water damage repairs. One of the best ways to prevent these costly repairs to your home is through regular maintenance of your gutters. Make sure you know about gutter maintenance and follow these tips today.