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Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter: Gutter Maintenance Tips
Thursday, April 27, 2017

As we shared last time, April storms and showers can bring along some pretty nasty damage to your home and property.  But, there are more insidious way that damage that can happen throughout the year and they can be equally as catastrophic if not found and fixed right away.

One of the things that can do the most damage is also one of the easiest to spot – if you know what to look for – and to fix.  Gutters.  Yep, those innocuous little troughs all along the edge of your roof that just hang there looking innocent.  If not checked and maintained routinely and replaced periodically, they can turn into your worst enemy.  O.K., that’s a slight exaggeration but you get the point.

What do your gutters do and why are they so important?  In our area, the ground is mostly composed of clay which is non-porous.  It can’t soak up moisture so water just funnels off on the path of least resistance, usually toward your home’s foundation.  Without gutters to catch the rain and redirect it away from your house you could sustain some pretty heavy water damage.  And, it usually happens slowly so unless you’re checking routinely, by the time you find it there can be a massive structural damage. So, what can you do to make sure this never happens?

You really should be inspecting your gutters at least twice a year, spring and fall, to clear gutters our and check for problems.  Here’s what to look for:

·        If you’re growing a fairy garden or mini forest in your gutters, it’s a pretty good sign that you need to get up there and scoop all the leaves, dirt and debris out before it creates damp, mulchy bed just right for all kinds of plant life.

·        Small debris can be flushed out of the gutters with a garden hose and that’s a good time to check the underside for leaks.  If there are leaks along the seams or end caps these can easily be fixed by removing old material and applying new.  If there are holes in the fiberglass or aluminum body of the gutter more extensive repairs or replacement may be necessary.

·        Check for standing or extremely slow-moving water in the gutter. This can signal a couple of things.  You may have a clog in the downspout or the slope of the gutters may be inadequate

o   If the water is not freely flowing through the downspout disconnect it from the underground pipe – if it connects to one -- and use a strong spray of water to loosen debris. If the hose fails to clear the downspout, use a plumber's snake to break up the clog.

o    If the downspout is unclogged and the water stills fails to flow toward the downspout efficiently, the slope is inadequate. Spikes or hangers will need to be relocated to create a slight slope toward the downspout.

·        Space between the gutter and wall, especially if you see water running down the side of the wall when it is raining, can happen if the spikes or hangers work loose over time.  You’ll need to re-secure or replace these so that the gutter is securely attached to your home’s rafters and the roof overhangs.

Spotted some damage and not sure how to fix or replace it properly?  No need to worry because here at Midwest Property Pros we consider it our mission to ensure that your home is safe and structurally sound and we’re standing by to help.  Contact Usonline or give us a call at 513.488.1000 to receive a FREE onsite estimate and let us help you get your mind out of the gutter and back onto the business of living!



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