Everyone knows that falling leaves in autumn can muck up a gutter system, but even if your house doesn't have any trees around the perimeter, now is the time for a quick maintenance check to make sure everything is ready for the season and the inevitable winter. Here's how:
- Check for dirt and debris. Even without leaves around, gutters can catch a lot of detritus. Look for nests, sweep away deposits of dirt and sand dropped by your roof and the rain, and check for rust. While many gutters can withstand water through a combination of their base material and paint, any corrosion can quickly spread or break through the wall if left untreated.
- Pour water along the horizontal gutters to make sure they work. Sometimes, long runs of horizontal gutters get bent due to dirt collection or hail damage; you can usually fix any bend where water collects. Also use the water test to look for leaks. The system is designed to stop water from falling straight onto the soil around your foundation, as that can wear away the soil, make the layer turbulent, and weaken your foundation support.
- Pour water down the vertical downspouts to check for clogs. Not only do you want to be sure these gutters aren't clogged, it's important that the water is sent the right direction. It should aim away from your home's foundation (and if you have close neighbors, aim it away from their property too). This water wears away the soil and causes foundational problems. Many people take additional precautions like gutter extensions that channel water leaving the downspout further away from the house. You might consider adding these if your soil erodes easily or if your region gets a lot of heavy rain.
Getting your gutters ready for autumn and winter involves more than just keeping them clean. Checking for corrosion and ensuring the water flows away from your foundation matter just as much. Contact us at Midwest Roofing for more home and roof maintenance tips.