Clogged, damaged, or missing gutters are not only unsightly, they can contribute to costly water damage to the interior and exterior of a home. While many property owners take steps in late fall to remove leaves and unclog gutters in preparation for winter storms, proactive maintenance throughout the year can help prevent or minimize problems, but only if you know what to look for:
- CHECK for small cracks and holes along the length of your gutters. REPAIR using sealant or pieces of fascia screwed over the damaged area.
- CHECK for broken, loose, or missing fasteners. REPAIR with aluminum fasteners or even zip ties to create a sturdy connection to the roof and between gutter sections.
- CHECK for nails on the ground under gutters. REPAIR using standard screws to keep gutters in place.
- CHECK for separation between gutter sections. REPAIR with a new section of gutter cut to fit the gap and fastened to both pieces of the existing gutter sections.
- CHECK for separation between the inside face of your gutters and your home. REPAIR using screws to reattach the separated pieces to your home.
- CHECK for deformed or sagging sections where water can pool and spill over. REPAIR by bending section back into shape or replacing with a new gutter section.
- CHECK for peeling paint on your gutters, a sign that water is leaking over the edges. REPAIR by stripping old paint with a scraper then priming and repainting the gutters.
- CHECK for water pooling under gutters and determine cause – leaves and debris blocking the gutter, holes and cracks, or water pooling in low spots on the gutter itself. REPAIR, if the gutter is clear and not damaged, by sloping the entire gutter to run to the downspout.
- CHECK for damage to flower beds and foundation plantings. REPAIR by installing a gutter diverter to redirect water.
- CHECK for evidence of water damage to the basement. If your gutter is in good repair, consider redirecting the gutter spouts away from the flood-prone area. Significant flooding may require professional gutter repair or replacement.
“Cleaning out your garage or basement should be a chore you choose to take on, not something you are forced to do because damaged or missing gutters allowed those spaces to flood,” says Mike Weingartner. “A little time and money spent now on preventive maintenance may help prevent costly and inconvenient repairs later.”
For more detailed tips on gutter maintenance and repair, visit www.bintheredumpthatusa.com/article/gutter-repair
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