Gutters are designed to protect your roof, siding, foundation and other parts of your home from water damage. They can also prevent water accumulation in your yard, walkway and driveway when precipitation falls. Because of these crucial functions, the gutter system is truly an integral feature of any building or home.
That being said, you should take care of your gutters and make sure they’re always in good condition. Regular gutter inspections are helpful in this regard. In general, it is advisable to inspect your gutters at least twice a year to ensure they are free of debris and capable of performing their intended functions. Here’s how to inspect your gutters.
Prepare for Gutter Inspection
You will need tools to safely reach and properly inspect your gutters. Prepare gloves, a ladder and a pair of buckets for carrying your equipment. Be careful when using a ladder, and don’t forget to look for instruction labels on the ladder itself. The proper ways to use it are often indicated on its side. Furthermore, make sure someone else will be watching you while you’re on the ladder.
Start Checking From the Ground
It’s advisable to start a visual check from the ground level before climbing a ladder. You can inspect the slope and consistency of your gutters from this vantage point. Look for gutter portions that appear out of place, too low, too high or out of line with the others.
Remove Debris Before the Inspection
You need to clear out debris and dirt before checking your gutters for damage and performing a water test. Hand-picking leaves and pine needles can be time-consuming. To make the process easier, you can push the debris into mounds using a long tool. This would make it faster to collect the debris.
Wear gloves or use a trowel to remove undesirable material. Be careful because the inside of the gutter may have some sharp edges. After you’ve removed the obstructions inside your gutter, use a garden hose to remove any leftover debris. Insert the hose into the downspout as well to wash away any debris that has accumulated there.
Hose Down Your Gutter
After you have completed removing debris in your gutter, there is a good chance that some stubborn dirt will remain. In this case, residential roofing experts will continue using a garden hose to flush out the remaining dirt and debris. You can do the same, but keep a close eye on the water flow throughout this procedure. Look out for leaks and see if the water is moving as it should through the downspout.
If the flow of water through your downspout is obstructed, there may be debris buildup in your gutter. You can spray a strong stream of water directly into the downspout to break up the debris accumulation. If your spray or hose is unable to clean up the gutter’s downspout, try cleaning it with more effective alternative equipment.
Ensure Good Drainage
Ensure that each downspout terminates at an elbow. Don’t be shocked if at least one elbow joint is loose or disconnected. Elbow joints are easily detachable so that if you collide with a section, it won’t pull the entire downspout off your home. It also makes cleaning easier.
Then, check for erosion beneath the gutters. If you see that the soil around your home’s foundation and beneath your siding has eroded, install splash blocks. These are rectangular, angled pieces of concrete or plastic placed under each downspout to absorb the impact of the water and help direct its flow.
Check for Standing Water
Take a second look at your gutters to make sure the water isn’t moving slowly or accumulating in them. If there’s something wrong with the movement of water, it could be an indication that the slope is not steep enough. To create more slope that will let water flow more easily to the downspout, you might need to rearrange the hangers or spikes.
Make Sure the Hangers or Spikes Are Secure
The hangers or spikes on your gutters might become loose over time, creating space between them and the exterior of your house. If this happens, your rafter hangers or spikes may need to be replaced or re-secured. Similarly, if rainwater flows down the side of your house, this could mean your hangers or spikes are loose.
Check Gutter Aprons for Gaps
The final step in a gutter inspection is to look for gaps between the gutters and the structure to which they are attached. Gutter aprons are typically used to connect these two parts. Water hoses and basic observation techniques can be used by inspectors to determine whether gutter aprons are performing their job and directing water and precipitation directly from rooftops to gutters. Following an evaluation of these parts, one may gain a better understanding of how gutter systems function.
Call a Professional
It’s fairly easy to inspect your gutters all on your own and to point out damage if there are any visible ones. However, a DIY gutter inspection is different from fixing and correcting gutters. Gutter professionals can assist in identifying any major problems that may be invisible to homeowners who are unfamiliar with gutter issues. They can also assist you in developing a drainage solution or propose one that you can develop yourself. It is also safer and more cost-effective to leave the more complicated types of work to professionals. Climbing the ladder and inspecting your gutter without help can be very dangerous.
Remember to hire a professional to thoroughly inspect and clean out your gutters. In addition to cleaning your gutters, a gutter cleaning and inspection expert also examines downspouts, fascia boards and other related components for signs of current or potential problems. You can avoid clogs and leaks with a gutter protection system that prevents debris from building up in the gutters. This allows rainwater to flow smoothly into downspouts, keeping your home dry and safe.
Hiring a gutter professional also saves you money and provides you with peace of mind. Trusted gutter professionals have the necessary knowledge and experience to do the task. They have all of the essential tools, so you don’t have to buy them yourself. They may also discover more damage than you might have seen during your DIY inspection. More importantly, they know how to repair or replace your gutter system.
Northeast Gutters and Remodeling offers quality gutter services to help protect the integrity of your roofing system. Whether you need new gutters installed or gutters cleaned and repaired, our reliable team is here to help. For any of your residential roofing and gutter concerns, call us at (860) 899-7878, or fill out our contact form.