Winterization – Clean Your Gutters

guttersAs we continue to break down winterization of your home into bite size pieces, we move onto an important cleanup task – clearing out your gutters. As we progress through Fall, leaves keep falling. They keep filling your gutters. So, you might think – I will just wait until all the leaves stop falling and then I will clean the gutters. Sound familiar? There are several problems with this.

Waterfall Gutters

Problem #1 – when the gutters clog up, water topples over the gutter and you end up with mini waterfalls in various locations. These little waterfalls are not directing water AWAY from the home rather directing the water to your foundation. Water damaged foundations are never a cheap and easy fix.

Roof Damaging Gutters

Problem #2 – when the gutters back up, water may come in contact with the roof sheathing, leading to damage to the roofing system, which in turn will present as roof leaks. A roofing contractor will have to be called out to estimate the damage.

Overweight Gutters

Problem #3 – if the water pools in the gutter and temperatures drop, now you have frozen water in your gutter and added weight. This added weight can result in collapse of the gutter system causing injury to person or property.
Depending on how the gutters are secured to the home, different types of damage will occur.

If your gutter system is the old standard Spike and Ferrell system, the weight of frozen water in your gutters will pull the gutter away from the fascia. The fascia is the protective covering on the rafter ends. When this happens, the fascia is exposed to water penetration and damage. Again, a roofing contractor will have to be called out as you may be dealing with a leaky roof.

The newer gutter systems are secured to the roof sheathing beneath the shingles. If the gutter system pulls away on this design, it will result in more damage to the roofing system. You want to keep your kitchen pots in the kitchen, not sprinkled throughout the home collecting drips, right?

Whether you clean the gutters yourself, hire a neighborhood teen (good luck with that) or hire a professional, now you see just how important it is to keep those gutters free and clear of debris on a regular and consistent basis.

There are various gutter guards on the market today.  However, these do not prevent leaves from piling atop the guards.

In case you missed it >> Winterization – The Outdoor Faucet

Stay tuned for more tips on winterizing your home!