Gutters and downspouts

 

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s….something from your gutter

Gutters may not be the most attractive part of your house, but they perform a useful service, directing water down the corners of your home instead of letting it pour off in all directions to slowly wash away your foundation. Unfortunately, they’re also a magnet for anything else that might blow around on your roof, including leaves, sticks and acorns. This leads to clogged downspouts, backed up rain water and eventually a rotting mess on your roof. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, particularly after autumn leaves have accumulated.

 

 

What is the scoop on gutters?

A plastic sugar scoop or a garden trowel makes an excellent tool for scooping up leaves from your gutters. When you’re done, install a leaf strainer into each downspout opening to help eliminate clogs that cause water backup.

 

 

 

Good gutters gone bad

You can tell if your gutters are overdue for a cleaning by a few telltale signs. Walk around your house, checking for gutters and downspouts for twigs and debris sticking over the top or out from between cracks. The place where gutters turn or change direction are common problems areas for clogs. Water marks and discoloration on your siding are signs that rain has backed up and leaked into the wrong places. On the ground, check for erosion around the foundation of the house. Also, pay close attention to any leaks that appear in your basement. Water seeping into the house should tell you that the rain in not being properly directed away from the foundation.

 

 

 

 

Guard them well

You can buy mesh guards for your gutters that will let water through, but catch the debris. However, most experts say these don't eliminate your need for cleaning. They may even make cleaning more difficult than in unguarded gutters.

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