Gutters are a very important but often overlooked part of your home. The function of gutters is to catch rain and drain it away from your house to stop it from leaking into your home and causing damage. Problems arise when the gutters get clogged up and stop doing their job.
The issues caused by the water not draining away can range from minor water damage to serious structural complications. In order to avoid these issues, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that your gutters stay clear. Here are the best ways to prevent your gutters from getting clogged.
1. Clean Out Your Gutters Regularly
The most obvious way to prevent your gutters from clogging up is to clear them out on a regular basis. Most often clogs will occur where your gutters meet the pipe that runs down to the ground. This pipe is called a downspout and at the top of this pipe is where leaves and twigs and other debris tend to clump up and clog the opening.
When this happens, water will fill the gutters until they overflow and the water will run down the side of your house and into the foundations where it can cause serious problems. There are professional companies that specialize in gutter maintenance and you can click here to see some of the services that they offer.
Whether you hire a company to check your gutters or you do it yourself, an inspection about once a month should be ample to maintain clear drainage and protect your foundations. Of course, if there has been a particularly bad storm or heavy winds then check your gutters afterward as really adverse weather incidents can deposit a lot of debris in a really short amount of time.
2. Keep Trees around Your House Well-Trimmed
The majority of the debris that will end up in your gutters will come from close-by trees or tall bushes. Leaves, twigs, small branches, and needles can all clog up the opening to your downpipes so try to keep nearby trees well pruned to at least stop them from dropping directly into your gutters.
If the trees are on your property and are right up against your house then you might even want to consider cutting them down. If they are your next-door neighbor’s trees then speak to your neighbor about regularly cutting back the trees to prevent the chance of a blockage in your gutters.
3. Regularly Inspect Your Roof for Loose Materials
Another way that gutters commonly get clogged is with loose material from your roof that has broken off or worn away. Bits of roof tile, loose shingles, and chips of cement can all slide down into your gutters causing a blockage.
Regular roof inspections and maintenance should be a key part of house upkeep for various reasons but check your roof regularly for any loose tiles or damaged areas that need repairing or replacing.
4. Install Gutter Guards
A more permanent solution to keeping your gutters clear of blockages is to fit gutter guards to stop any debris from falling in. These cover your gutter system and are designed to minimize the debris that ends up in your gutters, allowing only rainwater to get in.
No gutter guards available today are able to completely prevent debris from getting into your gutters but they will at least reduce how often you need to inspect and clean out your gutters. There are many models available online so read up on customer reviews if you are considering installing them. Make sure that the guards are installed correctly to maximize their efficacy.
5. Replace Your Gutters with a State-of-the-Art System
The final step you can take to prevent your gutters from getting clogged is to replace your gutters with a brand new start of the art gutter system. Whilst it may seem more cost-effective to just make continuous small repairs as and when needed, it may actually be cheaper in the long run to just replace your current gutters with a new system. Old vinyl gutter systems get far more clogs than gutters made from stainless steel or copper.
Whilst these metal gutters are more expensive, they are far more efficient and water and debris run down them far more smoothly, significantly reducing the chance of a blockage. Again, do your homework, as there are many brands and models on the market.
Gutters may not be the most glamorous feature in your home but they are very important and it is vital that you take all the appropriate action to make sure they are functioning correctly. Follow this guide to keep the water flowing without hindrance and keep your foundations safe.