How to Maintain Your Rain Gutters

How to Maintain Your Rain Gutters

How much time do you spend thinking about your rain gutters? If you’re like most people, the answer is not much. However, gutter maintenance is essential to your home’s overall exterior seasonal maintenance. Did you know that your rain gutters can directly impact the performance of your roof, siding, and foundation?

At Powers Premier Contracting in Minnetonka, we offer a complete range of exterior remodeling services, including gutter service. Let us know if you want a professional gutter contractor to inspect your system or learn about seamless gutters.

In this post, we’re sharing essential tips for gutter maintenance!

The Importance of Gutter Maintenance

If you don’t already, it’s a good idea to consider gutter maintenance as an essential part of your seasonal home maintenance. As a seasoned gutter contractor, we see many home exterior repair issues arising from simple gutter negligence.

These are just some of the risks of overlooking gutter maintenance!

Insect Problems

These days, mosquitoes are much more than a minor nuisance, with potential health problems like the West Nile Virus. Standing water in warm weather is ideal for mosquitoes and other insects to thrive. When homeowners have mosquito problems, standing water is often the first thing to check for.

If you’ve removed every source of standing water around your home, from flower pots to puddles, but you still have mosquitoes, there’s a good chance you’ve got clogged gutters.

Flooded Basement

When your gutters aren’t draining properly, water lands at your home’s base rather than getting directed away. This causes water to pool and collect near your home. It also means there’s a greater risk that water can seep through cracks in your foundation and infiltrate your attic.

If you’ve ever seen a dank basement, you know that the last thing you want is to have standing water down there. Water in your basement creates a breeding ground for unpleasant mildew and dangerous mold.

Once mold has taken root inside your home, it is incredibly difficult to remove and could lead to serious health problems for your family.

Foundation Damage

Your foundation is actually one of the primary reasons homes have a gutter system. Gutters move water away from the home to keep it from eroding the soil near your home’s base.

Water that collects near your home can cause serious damage to your foundation over time, leading to settling and other serious issues.

Foundation damage is also one of the most costly home repairs!

Ice Dam Destruction

Ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house.

Moreover, it can also cause peeling paint, warped floors, stained and sagging ceilings, and soggy insulation in the attic, which loses R-value and becomes a magnet for mold and mildew.

Damaged Pavement

When too much water pools near your sidewalk, patio, or driveway, the soil can erode and shift, damaging the pavement. Cracked driveways and sidewalks can be costly to repair.

Staying on top of gutter maintenance is much cheaper than replacing damaged pavement!

Essential Gutter Maintenance: Cleaning & Inspections

Gutter maintenance begins with regular gutter cleaning. You should plan to clean and inspect your gutters at least twice a year. Typically, homeowners schedule their gutter cleaning once in the spring and again in the fall.

Fall is a good time because it allows you to remove all the twigs, leaves, and debris collected during the fall months. When left to decay in your gutters, they can prove inviting for small animals to nest in, leading to serious clogs or damage.

Likewise, spring allows you to remove all the pollen and greenery that collects in your gutters before animals and insects become too comfortable there.

How to Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is easy if you plan ahead and have the right tools for the job. Choose a sunny day when anything collected in your gutters will be dry. Otherwise, it can be difficult and unpleasant to remove.

Check out our blog on how to clean gutters from the ground, and keep reading for tips on the equipment you’ll need to do the job safely!

Recommended Equipment for Gutter Cleaning

If you plan on using an extension ladder, you’ll need a few basic supplies and equipment and another person standing at the ladder’s base.

A Bucket for Debris Collection

Depending on how often you clean out your gutters, you may have to have a large bucket, such as what the painters use to hold the excess amount of leaves and debris.

To avoid carrying too much up a ladder, use the same bucket for any short cleaning tools, such as a garden-type trowel.

Pair of Work Gloves

You don’t want to accidentally prick your hands with any pointy or sharp objects or debris, so have a good pair of work gloves handy.

Protective Eye Goggles & Facemask

Put on some protective eye goggles to avoid falling leaves and dust from falling or landing on your eyes. And if you are allergic to certain allergic environmental elements, it’s wise to use a standard face mask or an industrial-grade N95 face mask.

An Extendable & Sturdy Ladder

If you’re not cleaning your gutters from the ground because you desire to see what’s actually inside and clogging your gutter, an extension ladder is an option.

With that in mind, it’s always best to have someone at the base holding your ladder in place when climbing a ladder for safety reasons.

While climbing an extension ladder that is firmly based on level ground, never step on the top rung or try to hang onto too many items.

A Trowel

If you opted to climb an extension ladder, carefully remove all debris with a scooping trowel. For anything left, simply flush it out with a garden hose when you’re through.

Wet/Dry Vacuum

For this method, use a hose and curved attachment that came with your wet-dry vacuum. Starting at the end of your gutter, hold the attachment above the gutter system before turning on the vacuum.

Work from one end of the gutter to the other and repeat. Home improvement stores and online retailers carry a gutter-cleaning kit for your shop vacuum.

Garden Hose or Power Washer

To get your gutters extra clean, spray them down with the garden hose after using the wet/dry vacuum and repeat. If you’re staying on the ground, use a telescopic water-fed pole or another such water-fed tube with a curved end that can be aimed inside the gutter.

For a power washer, use a telescoping and U-shaped attachment and start at the end of the gutters and position the attachment before turning on the power. Start at the end nearest the downspout, spray out the entire channel length, and then work your way back to the downspout.

Inspecting Your Gutters

While cleaning your gutters, you should also check them for signs of damage if you need to schedule a gutter repair. Look for damage near the joints, bent gutters, unattached gutters, and rust.

As mentioned before, gutters tend to get damaged when they’re clogged because they are surrounded by trees.

Here are a few more things to inspect.

Check for Animal Nests

Because little critters love to find hard-to-reach areas with an included clutter of debris for home nesting, this will consequently create additional damage to your gutter canals.

Broken Seams

These seams can become vulnerable and damage the gutter canal system. This is mostly caused by neglect of keeping gutters clean and can contribute to damage over time.

Incorrect Slope

An incorrect slope can interfere with the drainage of your gutter. Contact an experienced gutter repair team to inspect your roof’s condition and possibly repair or replace your existing gutters.

If you see any other areas of concern, call a gutter contractor at Powers Premier to have them repaired.

Contact a Minnetonka Gutter Contractor

If you’re tired of cleaning your gutters and want to worry less about maintenance, our gutter contractors can install seamless gutters or gutter guards. With gutter guards, leaves and debris stay out of your gutters, so you never have to worry about gutter cleaning!

Contact our remodeling contractors at 612-710-7283 to learn more, or contact us online for a free estimate. Give us a call today!