Cleaning your gutters may not be the most enjoyable task on your summer to-do list, but the summer months are the perfect time to do a gutter checkup because it’s typically the driest time of year when your gutters are doing minimal work. If you have a gutter inspection on your to-do list this summer, there are several important steps to take to ensure your gutters remain strong, reliable, and able to meet the challenges of the wetter months.
Clean your gutters thoroughly
The first step in maintaining your gutters is to clean out all the debris that has accumulated in them since their last cleaning. Over time, your gutters are going to accumulate all types of debris like leaves, twigs, and maybe even pinecones and other bits of foliage from around your home. Cleaning your gutters is much easier during the dry summer weather. You don’t need to worry about wet and slimy leaves and debris and can generally clean them more quickly than you would during wetter weather.
Check carefully for nests
Gutters are prime real estate for birds in your area. Many birds love to nest on and around home gutter systems, and these areas are elevated and provide them with relative safety from predators. However, you do not want birds nesting around your gutters. Over time, they could start to damage the gutters and the surrounding surfaces of your walls and roof.
While bird nests may stand out, other unwanted nests may be more difficult to spot. Look carefully for wasp nests and other signs of insects around your gutter. If you notice any kind of infestation, it’s a good idea to call a professional exterminator as soon as possible. Insects could easily move from your gutters and outside your home to nesting inside your walls or in the lower regions of your roof, and you do not want this to happen.
Clean the gutters inside and out
After removing all the debris from within your gutters and checking for any signs of wildlife nesting around your gutter system, it’s time to clean the gutters themselves. Simple Green is a good environmentally friendly cleaning solution to use, or you can use a simple wet brush to clear away grime, dirt, mold, and algae that has accumulated on your gutters.
Pay very close attention to areas that seem to have lots of mold or algae accumulation. These areas could indicate a drainage problem with your roof, and this could eventually lead to expensive water damage. Scrub your gutters clean and rinse them off with a hose or power washer on a low-pressure setting.
Inspect the gutters for physical damage
Next, you want to perform a careful inspection of your gutters’ surfaces and check for rust, cracks, and gaps. Some of these issues may be easily fixable, but you should take care to remove extensive rust as best as you can and replace any sections of your gutters that have completely rusted.
If you run some water through your gutters with a hose, this is a good way to spot leaks easily during the dry weather. It can be hard to discern leaks during a rainstorm, so controlling the flow of water through your gutter will make leaks instantly visible. You can fix small leaks easily with some roofing cement and metal flashing, but you should contact a professional if you find any sizable leaks or leaks you don’t feel comfortable addressing on your own.
Inspect the roof
While you’re cleaning your gutters, you may notice some problematic areas of your roof. While you’re up near the top of your house to tend to your gutters, take some time to check your roof thoroughly as well. A thorough visual inspection for cracked or missing shingles, discoloration, and sunken areas of the roof can help you identify issues before they escalate into bigger, more expensive problems.
Contact professionals for extensive gutter maintenance or installation of new equipment
Your summer gutter inspection may reveal problems you can’t fix on your own. If you encounter any such problems, a professional gutter installation and maintenance team can help you fix them quickly and efficiently. In some cases, a thorough repair job may be enough, but other issues may require installing new gutter equipment or even repairs to your roof.
Able Roof provides professional assistance with roofing and gutters. If you clean your gutters this summer and notice any sizable problems, we can help. Contact us for a free estimate on your gutter repair project and our team will be happy to assist you.