Hump Day Home Hacks - Don’t Let Your Gutter Go Down the Drain: How to Clean, Repair, and Protect It
Your gutter is a metal channel that runs along the edge of your roof, collecting rainwater and directing it away from your house. It’s a very useful feature that prevents water damage, mold growth, and foundation problems. But did you know that your gutter also needs some love and care to keep it in good shape? Here are some tips on how to maintain your gutter and avoid costly repairs.
Clean your gutter regularly. The most important thing you can do for your gutter is to keep it free of debris, such as leaves, twigs, dirt, and even tennis balls. Debris can clog your gutter and cause water to overflow, which can damage your roof, siding, and landscaping. To clean your gutter, you will need a ladder, gloves, a trash bag, and a helper. You can use a plastic scoop, a broom, a leaf blower, or even a gutter cleaning robot to remove the debris from your gutter. Then, flush the gutter and downspout with a hose to clear any remaining gunk. You should clean your gutter at least twice a year, or more often if you have many trees around.
Inspect your gutter for damage. After cleaning your gutter, you should also check it for any signs of wear and tear, such as holes, gaps, rust, or sagging. Holes and gaps can cause leaks and drips, which can erode your soil and stain your walls. Rust can weaken your gutter and make it prone to breaking. Sagging can affect the slope of your gutter and prevent proper drainage. To fix these problems, you will need some tools and materials, such as sheet metal, metal snips, roofing cement, putty knife, gutter caulk, screws, brackets, and a screwdriver. You can patch holes and gaps with sheet metal and roofing cement4, scrape off rust with a wire brush and coat it with roofing cement, and reattach loose or detached gutters with screws and brackets.
Install gutter guards or covers. If you want to make your life easier and reduce the frequency of cleaning your gutter, you can install gutter guards or covers. These are devices that fit over or inside your gutter to prevent large debris from entering while allowing water to flow through. There are different types of gutter guards or covers available in the market, such as mesh screens, foam inserts, brushes, or helmets. You can choose the one that suits your budget and preference. However, keep in mind that no gutter guard or cover is foolproof, and you still need to inspect and clean your gutter occasionally.
Now that you know how to maintain your gutter, here are some benefits of doing so:
You will save money. By keeping your gutter in good condition, you will avoid expensive repairs or replacements in the future. You will also save on energy bills by preventing heat loss or gain through leaks or cracks in your roof or walls. You will also protect your home’s value by preventing structural damage or aesthetic issues.
You will protect your health. By preventing water damage and mold growth in your home, you will reduce the risk of allergies, asthma, infections, or other respiratory problems. You will also prevent pests and rodents from nesting in your gutter or roof, which can carry diseases or cause damage.
You will help the environment. By preventing water runoff from eroding your soil or polluting your water sources, you will conserve natural resources and protect wildlife habitats. You will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Finally, here are some fun facts about gutters.
Did you know that the first gutters were made of stone or wood by ancient civilizations such as the Romans and the Egyptians? They used them to collect rainwater for drinking or irrigation purposes.
Did you know that the word “gutter” comes from the Latin word “gutta”, which means “a drop”? The word was first used in English in the 14th century to refer to a groove or channel for water.
What do you call a gutter that sings? A tune-el.
Why did the gutter go to the dentist? Because it had a cavity.